Published in November 2017
Frede Blaabjerg and Ke Ma
Wind power now represents a major and growing source of renewable energy. Large wind turbines (with capacities of up to 6-8 MW) are widely installed in power distribution networks. Increasing numbers of onshore and offshore wind farms, acting as power plants, are connected directly to power transmission networks at the scale of hundreds of megawatts. As its level of grid penetration has begun to increase dramatically, wind power is starting to have a significant impact on the operation of the modern grid system. Advanced power electronics technologies are being introduced to improve the characteristics of the wind turbines, and make them more suitable for integration into the power grid. Meanwhile, there are some emerging challenges that still need to be addressed. This paper provides an overview and discusses some trends in the power electronics technologies used for wind power generation. First, the state-of-the-art technology and global market are generally discussed. Several important wind turbine concepts are discussed, along with power electronics solutions either for individual wind turbines or for entire wind farms. Some technology challenges and future solutions for power electronics in wind turbine systems are also addressed.