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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T026162/1
Title: ESCROWS: Electrolytic-Free Single-Stage Converter for Reliable Offshore Wind Systems
Principal Investigator: Elkhateb, Dr A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
IXYS UK Westcode Ltd
Department: Sch of Electronics, Elec Eng & Comp Sci
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: New Investigator Award
Starts: 01 May 2020 Ends: 31 August 2022 Value (£): 274,792
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Wind Power
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Feb 2020 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 4 and 5 February 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Reliability is a critical attribute of power networks due to their importance to modern civilisation. The increasing use of renewable generation in our power system means that power electronic converters, which are needed to connect them to the power grid, are becoming widespread. Unlike traditional power systems devices, power converters are more prone to failures. However, they offer much more precise control and performance than conventional power system devices and are an indispensable part of modern power systems. Hence, the reliability of power converters is of paramount importance.

Offshore wind systems have been acknowledged as one of the leading solutions to decarbonise energy systems in the UK, with deployment anticipated to reach 84 gigawatts installed capacity by 2050. Due to their wind profile reliability, offshore wind farms offer longer-term solutions than onshore ones. The availability of many suitable sites, the excellent wind resources and the existing capabilities of the offshore petroleum industry make the UK ideally placed to be a world-leading player in floating wind systems. Typically, floating offshore wind farms with power ranging from five to fifty megawatts are expected to be connected to medium voltage power networks, therefore, requiring step-up transformers. Although such transformers have proven robustness, they are expensive and bulky.

The project aims to develop a novel power electronics converter to connect floating offshore wind turbines to power networks, ensuring resilience, high efficiency, superior reliability and the least impact on the environment. This will be achieved by undertaking advanced modelling and computer simulation to identify the optimal converter design, followed by the development of intelligent control software to maximise the efficiency and fault-tolerant operation of the converter. The performance of the final design will be validated through prototype hardware implementation and testing in consultation with the industrial partner.

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Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk