Wind in the North Sea.: Effects of offshore grid design on power system operation.
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- Institutt for elkraftteknikk 
In this thesis a method was developed to evaluate and compare various offshore grid topology and capacity choices. A small power system was created for the purpose of the study, including prototypes of offshore grids. To perform the offshore grid study, preliminary steps had to be taken and four subtasks were thus defined:1. Develop a scenario of wind park sizes and locations.2. Obtain representative wind speed data for each of the locations defined.3. Calculate resulting wind power production, given the scenario and the wind speed data.4. Study wind power integration and effects of grid topologies.The North Sea was chosen as a starting point and offshore wind power scenarios for the North Sea in 2025 and 2030 were first developed. Choices regarding which wind data to base the study on, i.e. re-analysis data, numerical weather prediction data or synthetic wind speed data, were evaluated. It was chosen for the final analysis to use a relatively high resolution wind speed data set, resulting from metrological data modelling. This wind speed data was then matched with the wind park locations and the wind power production for the North Sea scenario calculated. A multiturbine approach was applied for this conversion from wind speed to wind power. Finally, the resulting wind power could be included in an offshore grid structure and integrated into a power system.A small power system was created including three main generation/ load areas based on the characteristics of the Norwegian, Dutch and the British generation portfolios. These areas where connected with link capacities according to the existing and planned HVDC links between the real countries. Three offshore wind areas where then added, interconnected and connected to their respective countries, creating an offshore grid structure. The benefits of different topologies were then investigated by varying the link capacities off the offshore grid structure. Simulations were performed using a unit commitment and economical dispatch simulation tool. The benefits were mainly evaluated in terms of wind integration, emission reductions and reductions in operational cost.All cases are compared with a base case having only radial connection of the offshore wind clusters. The meshed grid structure results in increased wind integration reduced emission and reduced operational cost for all of the cases. The offshore grid was further found to facilitate both wind integration and trade. Though increasing the rating of the interconnections to shore above the capacity of the connected wind park cluster, as to accommodate for additional trade, was not found to give additional benefits. Regarding the capacities of the interconnections between the wind park clusters, the benefits were seen to saturate at a rating equal to the capacity of the smaller of the two connected wind park clusters. As investment cost was not considered in this thesis, further decisions regarding the optimal rating of the cables were based on the assumption that a high link utilisation is desirable. It is however recommended to apply a cost-benefit analysis for more accurate evaluations. As could be expected the effects on the onshore generation were unevenly distributed among the created areas depending on the generation mix. Finally, it should however be noted that since the case study only included three areas and an un-optimised hydro-scheduling method, results should be treated with caution.