EtherWAN to Enhance Remote Monitoring and Control on Wind Farms
Wind energy produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, and is proven to be the least problematic way to generate power. It is an excellent source of renewable energy (since the fuel is free), and compared to other energy sources, maintenance costs are relatively low. To support continuing growth and its search for new ways to produce electricity from renewable resources, China is looking for solutions to get more of its energy from wind power. In response to this need, EtherWAN's networking systems are already at work in North West China. Developing offshore wind power projects to meet its ambitious energy targets is a top priority for China. At present only 1% of China's power is generated by wind. With the second longest coastline in Asia, the Chinese government is developing wind power in eleven coastal provinces and is constructing large-scale offshore wind farm projects. According to the China Meteorological Administration, China's offshore wind power potential is estimated at more than 750 GW, compared to 253 GW of exploitable land-based wind power potential.
The term "wind power" describes the process by which wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. When it turns the blades connected to a generator, the wind is converted into mechanical power and then into electricity. In order to interconnect wind turbines and uplink to a wind tower control box, wind power systems require very reliable networking devices.
Communication between wind turbines and the control center is a major concern due to the scale of wind farms. It is very important that wind farms employ ruggedized networking devices for long distance transmission. A group of wind turbines can make electricity for the utility grid and then send the electricity through transmission and distribution lines to a control room hundreds of miles away. A drawback of wind power arises from the fact that wind does not blow continuously. This makes it difficult for utilities to maintain a reliable source of energy throughout the year. This is why the "smart grid", which allows for more efficient use of wind power, is so important.
EtherWAN's EX42000 series unmanaged Industrial Ethernet Switches are installed in the control box of the wind turbine tower. The control box containing a PLC, Serial Device Server and EtherWAN's EX42000 Ethernet Switch, converts the copper Ethernet for fiber optic transmission. The base of the wind turbine tower employs EtherWAN's EX71000 Managed Hardened Ethernet Switches which are designed to provide network redundancy (with EtherWAN's α-ring which ensures continuous data transmission). The EX71000 provides long distance fiber transmission for wind farm networks that extend to a control room hundreds of miles away.
►Diagram: Remote Monitoring Control on Wind Farms
EtherWAN has successfully employed wind generation systems in China. EtherWAN's hardened grade equipment supports fiber optic and α-ring technology with advanced network management features for building cost-effective and non-stop network for wind farm systems. We will continue to develop new ways to make renewable energy more readily available.
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