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Ride-through capability of grid-connected brushless cascade DFIG wind turbines in faulty grid conditions : a comparative study

Gowaid, I. A. and Abdel-Khalik, Ayman S. and Massoud, Ahmed M. and Ahmed, Shehab (2013) Ride-through capability of grid-connected brushless cascade DFIG wind turbines in faulty grid conditions : a comparative study. IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, 4 (4). pp. 1002-1015. ISSN 1949-3029

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Doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG)-based wind turbines (WTs) are reported to suffer reliability problems due to the presence of slip-rings, brushes, and the gearbox. These disadvantages encouraged several research groups to investigate the viability of employing single or double-frame brushless cascade DFIGs (BCDFIGs) in grid-connected multimegawatt WTs especially offshore and in solar chimney power plants. In this regard, this paper tackles three main issues. Initially, the expected reduction in gear ratio when BCDFIGs are used instead of DFIGs is examined from a steady state perspective. A reduction would lead to less frequent maintenance and an improved return on investment. Next, a detailed comparison between DFIG-WTs and BCDFIG-WTs under unbalanced grid voltage is presented. Finally, the extent to which a multimegawatt BCDFIG-WT is grid code compliant in terms of fault ride-through capability is studied. This is illustrated by comparing and quantifying the response of a DFIG-WT and a BCDFIG-WT to a severe three-phase voltage dip. Simulation and experimental results indicate promising behavior for BCDFIGs during disturbances.