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Abstract

The growing demand for a sustainable energy supply is motivating worldwide interests in renewable power technologies. The wind is the most promising renewable source globally, leading other sources in making the surroundings cleaner and more environmentally friendly, creating new jobs and industries, as well as in the combat against water crises – preserving the fresh water resources. The addition of wind energy into the electricity grid can severely influence the monetary cost, quality and stability of the grid network owing to the unpredictable nature of wind. Moreover, the electricity grid has limited control functionalities to absorb, cope with or switch large-scale wind power. Power electronics and advanced control technologies can enable optimum transfer of suitable and applicable wind power into the electricity grid, but the wind turbine technology is influenced strongly by the power demand, the type of generator utilised and the requirements of the electricity grid. Improvements in the efficiency of power electronic systems with enhancing control capabilities (reliability, durability and power ratings) can smooth the progress of large-scale injection of wind energy into the grid in the future. This chapter investigates the prospects of a key enabling technology for large-scale injection of wind turbine energy to the electric power grid.


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