Getting your wind farm online requires sourcing not just the 8,000 components in a modern wind turbine, but a myriad of other elements – such as the all-important transformer that steps up the output from a few hundred volts to the power grid’s distribution levels.
Serving wind turbines is not an easy life for a transformer, which once online must be able to handle repeated daily cycling and the resulting thermal stresses.
Even getting the necessary units in the first place is not a given, particularly when the industry is experiencing the “boom” part of its typical boom-bust cycle brought on by uncertain policies. And when you don’t have the right one, it can even keep your project offline.
Member company ABB Inc. relayed recently that a site in Ontario is urgently seeking to borrow or rent a transformer to meet a temporary shortage. The word has gone out: they’re looking for a Delta high voltage winding configuration, 115-138 kV rating, with a 550 kV minimum winding BIL, and a Wye low voltage winding, 23-34.5 kV, 150 kV minimum BIL, with an MVA rating of 9-30 MVA (ONAN).
For a translation, or if you have one of the above, see Mike Janda,”¨Director of Procurement at Infrastructure & Energy Alternatives LLC. And if you have a story to tell about challenges in trying to source a particular component, we want to hear it. Drop a line to Wind Energy Weekly Editor Carl Levesque.