REpower Develops Interface to Harmonise Wind Farm Management Systems

  • REguard Interface B IEC 61400-25 provides control system operating data from wind farm units
  • Wind farms with turbines from various manufacturers will in future require only one interface
  • Operators will benefit from more efficient operational management and lower investment costs

Hamburg: REpower Systems SE (WKN 617703) is launching a system to harmonise wind farm management systems in September. The new REguard Interface B IEC 61400-25 is available now for all wind farms around the world in which REpower turbines are used. The system means that the various interfaces in a wind farm can be replaced by a standardised, international interface. Even wind farms with turbines from other manufacturers can be controlled with a single interface. This considerably reduces project complexity and susceptibility to error. Operators also benefit from a more efficient operations management and lower investment costs.

The IEC 61400-25 standard describes the multi-manufacturer standardisation of communication between the SCADA system and the wind farm components, e.g. the wind turbines or the wind farm management system. SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, i.e. the monitoring, control and recording of power station and industrial systems data. REpower Systems SE offers a comprehensive range of SCADA products under the name of “REguard”. The product includes hardware and software for controlling the turbines, communicating with the wind farm and visualising the operating data.

The wind farms are connected via the internet with REguard. In the wind turbines themselves, the REguard Control B control system monitors the operation and the technical condition of the turbines by means of numerous sensors. The wind farm operating data is regularly transmitted to a central data centre. Users can access this via various software applications.

The new REguard Interface B IEC 61400-25 is directly integrated into the control systems of the wind farm units. No additional hardware or software is required. This gives the operator direct access to the turbines. The various wind farm units can also receive control signals to start, stop and reset. The REguard Power Management Unit (wind farm management) can in turn receive, process and intelligently distribute target values over the wind farm units in order to regulate performance. The REguard Interface B IEC 61400-25 also provides a report function in accordance with the IEC standard of the same name. The data types include analogue measured values, 10-minute mean values, digital signals, status information, operation data counters, control signals and target values for regulating performance.

“The future speaks IEC”, says Matthias Schubert, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of REpower Systems SE, “Our customers manage major power station portfolios and have to be in a position to “talk” to our turbines. All international wind turbine manufacturers, the major energy suppliers and the independent software manufacturers of SCADA systems are involved in the standardisation work required for this. For this reason, we expect the manufacturer-specific models to be replaced over the next few years by comprehensive systems”. He emphasizes the following: “REpower started developing a suitable interface early on and at the same time contributed its expertise to the standardisation committee and the IEC Use Group. This is why we are now one of the first manufacturers to provide a practical and mature product in series production”.

REpower developed the interface in conjunction with E.ON. “As one of the world’s leading operators of wind turbines, we were interested in obtaining practical experience with the IEC standard as soon as possible”, commented Uwe Fischer, Head of Asset Information Systems at E.ON Climate & Renewables. “Thanks to the collaboration with REpower, we found that the interface meets the requirements of even major operators and we were the first in the world to use an IEC 61400-25 interface in production. As a result, we could not be better prepared for the further roll-out of this manufacturer-independent standard”.