Hitachi ABB Power Grids today launched a portfolio of transformer products to be installed on floating offshore substations and floating wind turbines in deep waters, where traditional solutions are not feasible.
According to the company, its transformers are designed to overcome the challenging offshore environment and withstand the physically demanding conditions on floating structures.
"The portfolio will enable much greater volumes of wind to be efficiently harvested and integrated into the global energy system, directly supporting the transition to a sustainable energy future," Hitachi ABB Power Grids said.
Building offshore presents many challenges beyond the harsh saltwater environment. So far, only a small fraction of offshore potential has been exploited, as in many areas the seabed is not suitable and depths of 60 meters are not feasible for fixed structures, the company pointed out.
"Floating substations and floating wind turbines offer a solution, which can be used in deeper waters, vastly increasing the available global capacity for developing offshore wind energy. Yet floating systems come with their own challenges: over their entire lifetime they are constantly in motion and can be exposed to vibrations and shocks from waves up to 15 meters in height," Hitachi ABB Power Grids said.
"Our world-class engineers take pride in pioneering innovative solutions that overcome harsh offshore conditions and ultimately, help move society towards a sustainable energy future,” said Bruno Melles, Managing Director of the Transformers business at Hitachi ABB Power Grids. “Floating electrical systems are an important development in the offshore renewable industry, that will open up tremendous opportunities for clean power,” he added.
Hitachi ABB Power Grids' portfolio introduces collector step-up transformers, earthing transformers, and shunt reactors for floating substations plus wind turbine transformers for floating wind turbines, including WindSTAR units.
"Transformers and shunt reactors are key pieces of equipment in the grid infrastructure, enabling transmission of electricity generated by offshore windfarms. This complete and qualified equipment range, developed in partnership with leading floating offshore developers, meets challenging operating requirements with a lightweight and modular design made up of specially designed active part, tank, tap changer, accessories and external components," the company said.