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Electronics 2015, 4(4), 947-968; doi:10.3390/electronics4040947

A Technique for Mitigating Thermal Stress and Extending Life Cycle of Power Electronic Converters Used for Wind Turbines

School of Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, M1 5GD, Manchester, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mostafa Bassiounis
Received: 21 September 2015 / Revised: 30 October 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 17 November 2015
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Abstract

Over the last two decades, various models have been developed to assess and improve the reliability of power electronic conversion systems (PECs) with a focus on those used for wind turbines. However, only few studies have dealt with mitigating the PECs thermo-mechanical effects on their reliability taking into account variations in wind characteristics. This work critically investigates this issue and attempts to offer a mitigating technique by, first, developing realistic full scale (FS) and partial scale (PS) induction generator models combined with two level back-to-back PECs. Subsequently, deriving a driving algorithm, which reduces PEC’s operating temperature by controlling its switching patterns. The developed switching procedure ensures minimum temperature fluctuations by adapting the variable DC link and system’s frequency of operation. It was found for both FS and PS topologies, that the generator side converters have higher mean junction temperatures where the grid side ones have more fluctuations on their thermal profile. The FS and PS cycling temperatures were reduced by 12 °C and 5 °C, respectively. Moreover, this led to a significant improvement in stress; approximately 27 MPa stress reduction for the FS induction generator PEC. View Full-Text
Keywords: insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT); thermo-mechanical FE analysis; PWM control; wind energy converter model; thermal management; dynamic DC link insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT); thermo-mechanical FE analysis; PWM control; wind energy converter model; thermal management; dynamic DC link
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Batunlu, C.; Albarbar, A. A Technique for Mitigating Thermal Stress and Extending Life Cycle of Power Electronic Converters Used for Wind Turbines. Electronics 2015, 4, 947-968.

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