For this reason, ORE Catapult has recently expanded the capabilities of its 3 MW and 15 MW nacelle testing facilities through the construction of eGrid, one of the most advanced grid emulation systems in the world. Through the combination of these facilities, ORE Catapult can not only test the main bearings, gearbox, main shaft and generator, but also the central control, converters, transformer and switchgear. The 18MVA system allows our Testing and Validation clients to simultaneously test mechanical and electrical systems, in order to evaluate electrical performance, gain critical performance data and achieve grid-compliant assurance. eGrid does this by emulating AC grid voltage, current, frequency and power balance, allowing the simulation of abnormal conditions that wind and tidal turbines might experience in the field. Without a grid emulation system, manipulating these elements directly on the grid during tests creates a risk to network stability and could result in catastrophic impact on the entire electrical power network. By using the Catapult's assets as a controlled test environment, the system provides a platform for electrical power quality research and testing in a controlled environment. As the next generation of offshore wind turbines approaches market readiness, the project will also enable the Catapult to attract the largest and most advanced offshore wind systems in the world to the UK.
The Catapult is offering business support services and assistance to UK SMEs seeking to grow and innovate in grid connection products and services. The project is specifically targeted at: