Integration of wave and wind marine energy farms in electric power networks

Project facts

Project promoter
University of Zaragoza
Project Number:
ES07-0082
Target groups
Researchers or scientists
Status:
Completed
Initial project cost:
€9,500
Final project cost:
€8,137
From EEA Grants:
€ 8,137
The project is carried out in:
Spain

Description

The effects of fossil fuels on the climate change make necessary to develop new and cleaner technologies for electrical energy generation. Wind and solar energies are already in commercial phase, but other renewable energies are still in research phase. Wave energy is the most promising for its large potential. This project proposes the optimization of a hybrid system based on generators of two types (wave and wind) and a storage system that is used to balance electricity generation and consumption. This Project will develop a scientific investigation on the optimization of energy storage systems in hybrid wave and wind energy converters. The Donor Partner, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is an expert in the modelling and control of marine energy conversion systems, with specific focus on wave energy. The Project promoter, University of Zaragoza, is specialist in electrical network. They are working in planning of electric networks, storage systems and uncertainty models. The main beneficiaries of the project will be the scientific community.

Summary of project results

Renewable sources of energy have a great acceptance among public opinion of all countries. This kind of generation is rising its input to generation mix of most of the countries. Integration of several kinds of renewable energy sources permits to reduce the uncertainty and to increase the penetration level. Currently, offshore generation is the new frontier. Ocean renewable energies have great potential and will be able to supply huge amounts of energy in the near future. There is a variety of different technologies to extract the ocean energy. Some of them as offshore wind generation have taken advantage on onshore technology and have experienced a great growth in the last time. Others need more technological development to attain a competitive state as wave energy technology, In that technology, waves vary a lot in height and period, and these fluctuations affect the power grid in the same way. In addition, the installation cost of their infrastructures are very high and it is necessary to have a high level of use of these infrastructures to make the investment feasible. Although the integration of different technologies improves their use because the uncertainty diminishes, it is just necessary to mix them with other technologies to promote their use. Storage systems are positioning themselves as one of the main technologies to attain this objective. They can decouple the renewable generation from the demand and permit to reach high levels of utilization in the infrastructures and the integration of these intermittent technologies with high levels of penetration in the energy system. The work performed during the project was divided in five tasks: bibliography review; model of wave and storage devices; optimization model to design the hybrid systems; optimal control of the hybrid systems; dissemination of research activity and results. As a result, a paper has been submitted to a peer reviewed international journal and several talks and seminars were held. Wider effects are expected on the level of international cooperation between involved research institutions, dissemination of knowledge and experience in the new horizon of the offshore electrical generation.

Summary of bilateral results

The NTNU technical/professional contribution to the project was their expertise in the development of the wind-wave generation models, wave and wind resource data, computational resources and their relations with ocean energy sector companies. The Spanish researcher contributed with the development of the storage systems models, data processing and with their relations with wind sector companies. From the activity, partners have selected several areas with promising possibilities of cooperation, as wave farms modelling, design and control of power converters, and smart distribution grid. Besides a scientific paper, they have prepared several works for co-supervision of master theses that will constitute a follow-up of the work performed in the short term. Besides, there is a common interest to prepare a bilateral or/and European project to continue this scientific cooperation.