‘C’ for Control … ‘C’ f or Cleverness
Harnessing Green Energy
With over thirty years’ experience in the wind energy industry, Denmark’s kk-electronic a/s has accumulated a considerable expertise in this increasingly vital sector.
As a pioneer in the wind energy industry kk-electronic a/s has been developing and producing complete wind turbine control systems for leading wind turbine manufacturers for more than thirty years. kk-electronic was actually the control engineering company behind the first wind turbine being connected to the power grid. Owned by two major Danish pension funds and the management, kk-electronic is an operation entity with its HQ in Ikast, Denmark and production facilities in Denmark, Poland and China (the latter being a joint venture), and the company has a solid base in the wind energy industry and the capabilities and expertise to continue to expand its international presence.
In order to maximise its potential, kk-electronic is proud to highlight its focus on adding value to its customers’ projects. It is imperative that we know the challenges our customers face in their business in order to be innovative and competitive. We take pride in keeping our promises at every stage so our customers can rely on us. Above all, we love what we do and we are proud of the results that we achieve.
It is the ability of kk-electronic to deliver a complete electrical control system for wind turbines that underpins its core values. As one of the few suppliers that are able to offer this provision, the company is well aware that this is one of its main advantages; – the control system of a wind turbine is its ‘central nervous system, and therefore quiet essential that it works effectively and reliably to convert wind into electrical power; – particularly as a production stop of a wind turbine can easily cost the client thousands of Euro’s per day.
The main products offered by kk-electronic are the main computer/controller for the electrical control systems, the pitch and yaw systems, data acquisition and transmission components, converters and grid connection equipment. Additionally, the company delivers sensors and accelerometers, UPS, safety systems, conditioning motoring systems, climate control equipment and the necessary cables and wires. All the products are built, inspected and tested by kk-electronic’s electricians in its factories in Denmark and Poland.
The new ‘C’ platform
Prior to any product development, customers’ present and future challenges and requirements must be identified and prioritized. Prices on traditional fossil energy are increasing and governments are constantly looking for alternatives with a sustainable profile. This puts wind on the agenda as an energy source that is an operational alternative, and it demands for wind energy to become competitive compared with other energy sources, renewables as well as fossils. kk-electronic has met this challenge by developing a 6th sense wind turbine platform.
The target of wind turbine manufacturers and energy companies is a reduction of Cost of Energy (CoE) with up to 30% within the next years, which means that kk-electronic and their next generation of wind turbine platform has the same focus point.
The new development from kk-electronic with CoE reducing elements is a platform – named ‘C’ that covers and connects the wind turbine’s different systems. It is a complete infrastructure of data, gathered and analysed to continuously improve the wind turbine’s output. It is developed as an open platform in which you collaborate in one language on optimizing the wind turbine and its operations.
Henrik Simonsen, Technology Director at kk-electronic, states: ”C is not just a control for a wind turbine. It is a total infrastructure or coherent tool box that provides the tools necessary for optimizing a single wind turbine or a whole park. In its complete form it has the features of measurement, analysis, development and implementation. In one platform it is a control system, a measurement system, a data collecting system, an analysis system, a development system, a simulation system and a test and roll out system, all of it connected and ready for use. The platform has given kk-electronic an insight into a long row of improvement possibilities in the field of Cost of Energy.”
The C platform is a turning point of analysis and learning, and a turning point of development and direct implementation. It short-cuts and automates a row of work processes in the optimization of wind turbines. The interconnection platform provides 6th sense abilities. It will predict the optimal next steps of the wind turbine, and in this way avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the mechanical construction. All data will control the wind turbine in an optimising manner and finally provide the ability to reduce the Cost of Energy by means of eg. less material consumption.
Physically the platform “C” consists of a row of dedicated wind turbine modules that measure and control all elements in a wind turbine. ‘C’ modules are ruggedly designed to resist climatic and environmental challenges, such as vibrations and the unwanted effects of electromagnetic interference. The ‘C’ hardware can operate in an unmatched broad temperature range, and it is equipped with automatic error checking and correction. Furthermore each wind turbine contains a data and information server, which via a network is connected to servers (on park and enterprise level), functioning as a work station for the development team.
The software platform is based on mathematical models of the wind turbine, and regulation and control algorithms written in mathematical equations. This means that these are tools directly accessible for any type of engineer, and with direct interface to aero elastic design programs. Furthermore the system allows for the customer to integrate own software applications.
Customers have full access to the application software layer and can use the kk-electronic software or own proprietary software modules to enhance differentiation and performance.
Documentation to proof technology
Last November, kk-electronic bought a wind turbine in the Northern part of Jutland. We replaced the existing control system with the ‘C’ platform and recommissioned it. Now, four month after commissioning, the control system performs outstanding. The ‘C’ platform is collecting and analysing the data, while controlling, optimizing, measuring and surveilling the operation of the wind turbine. Now, the control system performs outstanding, running with a daily availability higher than 98%, and the wind turbine continuously produces more energy than the amount consumed by kk-electronic.
The modules of the new wind turbine platform “C” have proven their worth in the tough weather and wind conditions, thus living up to the high expectations of reliability and availability.
So not only did kk-electronic develop a new and innovative control platform, but they have simultaneously – with the purchase of their own wind turbine – been able to demonstrate the reliability and quality of the new solution.
The human aspects of ‘C’
As a platform the new ‘C’ is interconnecting people and functions of the company. C becomes the ‘central nervous system’, and it spans the entire company; it is the primary tool to control and optimize wind turbines, but the data generated can be used everywhere in the organisation, from its management, its developers, its supervisory personnel and its service and maintenance people to improve their productivity and decisions.