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Reactive power control

Reactive power production and consumption by generators allows the network operator to control voltages throughout their system. The requirements can be stated in a number of ways.

The simplest is the fixed power factor. The wind farm is required to operate at a fixed power factor when generating, often 1.0. Often, the required accuracy and integration intervals for the verification of the power factor are not stated. And the fixed value may be changed occasionally, for example for winter and summer, or peak and no-load periods.

Alternatively, the wind farm may have to adjust its reactive power consumption or production in order to control the voltage to a set point. This is usually the voltage at the PCC, but other locations may be specified. There may be requirements on the accuracy of control and the speed of response. Fast control may be difficult to achieve, depending on the capabilities of the wind farm’s SCADA communications system.

Some wind turbine designs can fulfil these functions, even when the wind turbine is not generating. This is potentially a very useful function for network operators, but is not yet a common requirement.

FRT requirements can be met with central reactive power compensation equipment.

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