First International Workshop on Grid Simulator Testing of Wind Turbine Drivetrains

NREL and Clemson University hosted the First International Workshop on Grid Simulator Testing of Wind Turbine Drivetrains June 13–14, 2013, at the National Wind Technology Center near Boulder, Colorado.

The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the research and testing needs and state-of-the-art apparatuses involved in grid compliance testing of utility-scale wind turbine generators. This includes both dynamometer testing of wind turbine drive trains ("ground testing") and field testing of grid-connected wind turbines.

NREL and Clemson University are in the final stages of construction of advanced, multi-megawatt power electronic grid simulator systems capable of many types of grid compliance testing (including voltage fault ridethrough, frequency response, and voltage support) for wind turbines. Both facilities are expected to be valuable testing assets for the wind industry to further improvements in wind turbine reliability and the development and testing of advanced grid-friendly controls. The participation of testing laboratories from the United States, Europe, and Asia in this workshop is a step toward establishing broader international collaboration (and possibly standardization) in grid simulation testing of renewable energy technologies.

Knowledge from the workshop will help guide the research and testing conducted at NREL, Clemson University, and other organizations. The workshop brought together experts in wind turbine testing, wind turbine manufacturers, wind power plant operators, and representatives from utilities to exchange knowledge, discuss experiences, and identify needs in wind power grid compliance testing that can be served by these test facilities. The workshop will provide valuable guidance in the development of advanced testing methods and procedures that will benefit the entire renewable energy industry. Learn more about NREL's controllable grid interface and other relevant testing capabilities that will be discussed at the workshop.

The goal of the workshop was to encourage interactive discussions among panelists, moderators, and workshop participants. Download the list of workshop attendees and the workshop report.

For technical questions about the workshop, contact Vahan Gevorgian.


Day 1: June 13, 2013


Introduction to the Existing Capabilities and Testing Experience in Grid Simulator Area — Moderator: J. Curtiss Fox, Clemson

New Upcoming Test Facilities — Moderator: Andrei Mander, Clemson CU, USA

Wind Turbine Manufacturers Perspective: What Are the Values for Wind Industry? — Moderator: Hal Link, NREL

  • Advanced Wind Plant ControlsNick Miller, GE
  • Grid-Friendly Controls of Full-Converter Wind Turbines — Robert Nelson, Siemens
  • Discussion (any testing needs missed in the proposed facilities, any additional requirements to increase the value of proposed facilities for the wind industry, etc.)

Day 2: June 14, 2013

Wind Power Plant Operator/Developer Perspective — Moderator: Vahan Gevorgian, NREL

Advanced Testing Concepts (Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing)

Closing Panel, Going Forward — Moderator: Andrei Mander, Clemson CU