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Comparison of Wind Farm Topologies for Offshore

Himanshu J. Bahirat, Student Member, IEEE, Dr. Bruce A. Mork, Senior Member, IEEE,
Hans Kr. Hidalen, Member, IEEE

AbstractIncreasing energy demand and environmental factors are driving the need for the green energy sources. The trend,
in general, with respect to wind farms is to increase the number
and the size of wind farms. The wind farms are also being located
offshore with the prospect of more consistent and higher energy
capture. The offshore wind farms are likely to move farther off
from the shores to reduce visual impacts and increase the size.
But, this has implications in terms of design of the collection grid
and grid interconnection. Farms of 1 GW size and at distances
of about 100 km are envisaged [1].
The design of collection system and turbine interconnection
will become very important as the farms move farther offshore.
Proper choice of collection system topology is important from the
point of view of maximum energy capture while ensuring a high
reliability of the design. Different collection system topologies
have been proposed by researchers before, with the radial system
being most popular. One of the key factors in selection would
be the losses in the farm. In order to select the most suitable
topology a comparison of different topologies with respect to
losses, reliability and costs has to be done.
Comparisons of calculations indicate that the DC series and
series-parallel wind farm design may be options for future wind
farm designs. The DC series and series-parallel design have lower
reliability, but can be improved by providing redundancies. The
designs have equipment costs almost equal to the AC wind farm
costs. The losses in DC series-parallel wind farm are higher by
about 12 % when compared to AC wind farms. The DC series
design is also very attractive design, but has restrictions with
respect to insulation. Also, the required turbine ratings may be
signicantly and unrealistically high when it comes to designing
large wind farms. It can also be concluded that the novel designs
require signicant amount of work before these can be used in
real wind farms.
Index TermsLosses, Reliability, Topologies, Radial, DC series, DC Series-Parallel.


ARIOUS topologies have been proposed by researchers

in the study of wind farms [2]-[3]. For land-based and
offshore applications radial connection of turbines producing
AC power output is the most common collection system
topology [4]. In this context the radial topology has also been
explored for losses and reliability issues.
The newer wind farms are being proposed to be located
offshore in the sea. The trend in size of farms and distance
from shore shows increasing values [5]. Since, presently the

Himanshu J. Bahirat and Dr.Bruce A.Mork are with the Department of

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University,
Houghton, MI, 49931 USA e-mail: (,
Hans Kr.Hidalen is with Norwegian University of Science and Technology,
Manuscript received , ; revised , .

978-1-4673-2729-9/12/$31.00 2012 IEEE

know-how of offshore wind farms is limited and critical

maintenance and repair data based on long term observation is
not available [6], these applications are interesting for studies.
The increase in both size and distance makes HVDC interconnection with the grid feasible. Due to this some researchers
have proposed DC collection systems. These systems collect
power from the turbines as DC output. Another option that is
proposed uses AC collection system and transmission to shore
is HVDC [2], [7], [3]. It has to be pointed out in the context
of all DC wind farm the work done, undertaken or likely to
undertaken is exploratory in nature, no wind farms are yet
built with only DC system.
The paper describes various AC and DC collection system
topologies and designs. A comparison of various wind farm
designs with respect to losses, reliability and costs is then
done. The aim is to identify factors for selection of topologies
for offshore collection systems. Also to identify challenges
that exists for selection of DC collection systems.
The electrical system for a wind farm can be divided
into two sections. First, the system within the wind farm
connecting all the turbines with each other, this is known as
the collection system. The second section is the connection
to onshore grid, this is usually at high voltage and referred
to as the transmission system. There are various designs of
collection systems proposed by researchers [2],[4],[8] and [7].
The collection system may collect power either as AC or DC.
The AC and DC collection system topologies based on [4],
[7]and [3] respectively are described in the following and used
for comparison.
1) Radial connection :- Figure 1 shows the radially connected wind farm. The turbines used produce AC power
output. Several turbines are connected to a common
cable depending on the current carrying capacity. Subsequently many different radials are then connected together at a substation that collects power from the entire
farm. The substation in the context of an offshore wind
farm is on a platform. The collection system voltage is
stepped up at the platform and power is transmitted to
shore [4], [8], [7].
2) Radial-Loop connection :- Figure 2 shows a radial system with loop connections. These looped systems have
higher reliability compared to the simple radial system.
Since the radial connection can be recongured in case
of faults, the energy produced is not lost. The system


Fig. 1.

AC Radial System

may require more complex control system depending on

location and number of reconguration switches [4], [3].
During normal operation of the system reconguration
switches are in open position.


Fig. 2.

AC Radial Loop System

3) AC Star/Cluster connection :- Figure 3 shows the star

or cluster connected AC wind farm topology. In this
topology each turbine is connected to a point of interconnection (star/cluster point) by means of its own cable.
Several such turbines are connected to star point depending on the current carrying capacity of the main cable
connecting to the hub. Hub collects power from several
clusters and transmits power to shore. The star/cluster
design is different from the AC radial wind farm (Figure
1) with respect to the current that ows in the main
cable. In case of AC radial system the current increases
as one moves towards the hub from the last turbine,
whereas in case of star design it is one value equal to
some of the turbine currents.


The systems with HVDC connection to grid, produce

AC power output and use converter stations for AC-DC-AC
conversion and interconnection. There is limited experience
with offshore converter stations. Thus, some researchers have
proposed Medium voltage DC collection systems and interconnection to grid with HVDC. The aim in using DC collection
systems is to gain advantages in terms of efciency of DC and
eliminate large converter stations offshore. A series-parallel
connection of turbines with DC collection has been proposed
in [7]. There is no converter station to step up the voltage to
transmission voltage level in the design. The series and seriesparallel design has been reported by researchers [2], [7]. The
idea in case of DC series and DC series parallel wind farms
is to connect the wind turbine like batteries in series and raise
the voltage to transmission levels.
1) DC Radial connection :- Figure 4 shows a DC radial
topology for wind farms. In the gure turbines have
DC power output. The output voltage of the turbine
is MVDC and transmission is done as HVDC. Other
DC radial systems have been proposed where power is
collected as AC output from turbines and transmitted
as HVDC. Converter stations are used on offshore platforms to step-up MVDC to proper transmission voltage
level [8]. Figure 4 wind farm with HVDC transmission
and onshore converter for interconnection with onshore
AC grid.



Fig. 4.

DC Radial System

2) DC Series/Daisy Chain connection :- Figure 5 shows

the DC series connected wind farm topology. Collection
system collects DC power from the turbine. The turbines
producing DC power output are connected in series,
in a way similar to batteries to increase voltage to
transmission levels. The aim is to eliminate offshore
converter platforms [2].



Fig. 5.
Fig. 3.

AC Star System

DC Series/Daisy Chain connection proposed in [2]

3) DC Series-Parallel connection :- Figure 6 shows the DC

series-parallel topology of wind farm. In this topology
also turbines producing DC power output are used.
A number of series turbines are used to increase the
voltage to transmission voltage level. A number of series
connections are connected in parallel to increase power
capacity of the farm [7].


Fig. 6.

DC Series-Parallel wind farm design


In order to study the general conguration of the wind
farms and to compare them, the wind farms used in this paper
were designed. The section describes the design procedure and
component selection for all the wind farms considered in this
paper. All the wind farms were designed for power rating of
300 MW. The design of wind farms is limited to selection of
equipments with appropriate ratings suitable for calculation of
losses, reliability and costs.

equipment for the voltage range [11]. The wind turbines are
selected to produce an output voltage of 33 kV. Table I gives
ratings of the turbines and cables used for the different AC
wind farm designs. The cables for radial connection are rated
at 33 kV. The cable data is obtained from the datasheet of
AC submarine cables [12]. It is assumed in the design that 10
turbines are connected per radial and the cable power rating
for radial is selected to be 27 MVA. In the AC star/cluster
design 10 turbines are assumed to be connected at the hub.
The AC wind farms in this paper are assumed to have an
offshore platform to collect energy from the entire wind farm.
The offshore platform has a step-up transformer that steps
up the collection system voltage to 150 kV for transmission
and interconnection to the onshore grid. It is known that
the reactive power compensation plays an important role in
high power high voltage AC transmission. The reactive power
compensation is not considered in the paper since the losses
are calculated based on simple combinatorics method. Also in
terms of costs of the platform the impact of compensation costs
was found to be approximately 1.7% of the platform costs. The
offshore platform transformer is assumed to be rated at 350
MVA for all the AC wind farms in this paper.
The DC wind farms are designed with general wind turbine
structure shown in shown in Figure 8. The turbine is proposed
to be built with a permanent magnet synchronous generator.
The AC power produced at power frequency (50 or 60 Hz) is
proposed to be converted to DC with AC-DC converter.

Fig. 8.


General DC wind turbine



Fig. 7.


DFIG based AC wind turbine

The AC wind farms are designed with variable speed

AC wind turbine shown in Figure 7. The turbine is built
with a doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG) and rotor side
converter. The AC wind turbine structure is described by many
researchers and is also used in the wind farms already installed
[7], [8], [9]. A 2 MW AC wind turbine with voltage output of
33 kV is selected for design of AC wind farms. The 2 MW
rating is selected because the wind farms in operation today
like the Horns Rev uses this rating [10].
The collection system design mostly uses 33-kV AC to
collect energy in the farm. The choice of 33-kV AC is mostly
dictated by the ready availability of switchgear and protection

Different turbine voltage and power ratings are selected for

the three DC wind farm turbines. The different ratings are
mainly due to the design constraints of individual DC wind
farm design. The DC radial wind farm is designed to have the
same collection system voltage as the AC wind farms. The
collection system voltage for DC radial wind farm is selected
to be 33 kV. The turbine voltage rating is then selected to be
33 kV for the DC radial wind farm. The turbine power rating
is selected to be 2 MW to match the AC turbine rating.
The turbine rating and collection system cable rating for the
DC series wind farm are governed by the transmission voltage
and farm power rating. This is because the number of turbines
that should be connected in series have to produce transmission
voltage. The number of turbines to be connected in series also
depend on the farm power rating. In order to design the farm
with these constraints the turbine voltage rating is selected to
be 5 kV. This give that for a 150 kv transmission voltage 30
turbines should be connected in the farm, from this turbine
power rating is established to 10 MW. It is assumed that it is
possible to insulate the wind turbine for transmission voltage
levels. The collection system cable of the DC series wind farm

is selected such that it can handle transmission voltage. The

data for 150 kV HVDC cables is used in the calculation. The
data for HVDC cable is obtained from [13].
The reason behind choice of the ratings of DC wind turbines
is explained here. For example a design of a 300 MW farm
and a 150 kV transmission is assumed. If, 2 MW wind turbine
rating is assumed then 150 turbines are needed in the farm.
This also gives their output voltage to be 1 kV. With this
rating the collection system cable is 150 km in length. Since
the losses and costs are directly proportional to the length
of the cable these would be very high. Also, it should be
observed that reliability has inverse relation to the cable length.
These issues mean that in order to compare with other designs
optimal ratings (best for a particular farm design) had to be
From the design of the DC series wind farm it is seen that
the turbines have to be insulated at transmission voltage level.
It might be difcult to design turbines that can withstand such
high voltages because the equipments may be too big to t in
the wind turbine nacelle. The DC series-parallel wind farm is
designed such that the series connection raises the voltage to
70 kV. The 70 kV value is assumed because the switchgear
and other equipments will still be able to t inside the turbine
nacelle. Due to this the design of DC series-parallel wind farm
becomes feasible. The DC turbine structure of Figure 8 is
used in the farm design. It is possible to select other ratings
of turbine, but these would lead to, either excessive losses or
unrealistically large power rating on the turbine.
The turbine voltage for DC series-parallel is selected to be
equal to 10 kV. This voltage level is selected as a compromise
such that there are reasonable number of turbines in series
string and so that the losses in the collection system do not
become excessive due to high DC current. The string voltage
of 70 kV allows connection of 7 turbines in series, but it
is assumed that 6 turbines are connected in each string. A
string with 6 turbines allows a balanced design with 5 strings
connected in parallel to design a farm of 300 MW. This design
leads to the selection of turbine power rating of 10 MW. The
10 MW rating is reasonable since the largest turbine available
in market today is 7.5 MW [14] and in future larger turbines
are likely to be designed.
The DC series-parallel design used in this paper is different
from the one proposed in [7]. The difference is the presence of
offshore converter to step up the DC voltage to transmission
voltage of 150 kV. A DC-DC converter with power rating of
350 MW is assumed in this design. Table I gives ratings of
turbine and the cables used in all the DC wind farms.

AC Radial
AC Radial with loop
AC Star
DC Radial
DC Series-Parallel
DC Daisy Chain

Turbine Type

Turbine Ratings
Voltage (kV) Power (MW)

Losses in electrical systems are usually obtained as a

byproduct of load ow analysis [15]. In case of calculations
of losses within the wind farm certain difculties in terms
of designations of buses (as PV or PQ bus) and location of
loads exists. A wind farm is a mixed system with conventional
equipments and power electronic converters. Most load ow
programs may not have capability to handle converters and
induction machines [16]. Hence, a simple method based on
combinatorics is developed for calculation of losses in the
wind farm. The losses in the wind farm will vary with wind
speed [17]. In this paper rated wind speed is assumed for all
loss calculations. The rated wind speed will give maximum
losses as highest currents will ow in the system.
Losses in wind farms can be divided into turbine losses,
collection and transmission system losses. The turbine losses
in turn can be divided into generator, converter and transformer
losses. The collection system losses consists of ohmic losses.
The transmission losses include the offshore converter and
transformer losses along with the transmission cable losses.
In the following calculation of different loss components is
Generator losses vary based on wind speed. The losses are
reported as percentage in [18]. The generator losses reported in
[18] are used in the calculations in this paper. The percentage
losses in the generator for 10 MW DC wind turbine are
considered to be the equal to the value reported in [18]. The
transformer losses are also obtained as percentage values from
[18]. Equations for converter loss calculations are dened as
Pswt vsc =

Cable Ratings
Voltage (kV) Power (MVA)

fs (Eon,I + Eof f,I + Eof f,D )

Vref Iref

Pcond vsc = 6NI (Pcond,I + Pcond,D )

Pswt mat



24 3
Vi I
fs (Eon,I + Eof f,I + Eof f,D )
Vref Iref

Pcond mat =




(VCE,0 + VDf wd,0 ) I + I 2 (rCE + rf wd )


Pswt DC = N fs (Eon,I + Eof f,I + Eof f,D )


Pcond DC = N (VCE,0 + VDf wd,0 ) I + I 2 (rCE + rf wd )

are then multiplied by number of turbines in the farm to obtain

total turbine losses. The total losses in the farm are obtained
summing up the losses for turbines, collection system and the
transmission system. Table II gives the losses for all the farm


turn on energy of IGBT

Eof f,I

turn off energy of IGBT


turn on energy of diode

Eof f,D

turn off energy of diode


reference voltage given in datasheet


reference current given in datasheet


AC Radial
AC Radial Loop
AC Star
DC Radial
DC Series
DC Series-Parallel


IGBT on state voltage

VDf wd,0

diode on state voltage


IGBT on state resistance

rf wd

diode on state resistance

V andVDC

rated steady voltage of the converter

N andNI


number of semiconductor switches

rated steady state current of the converter


switching frequency of the converter

The converter losses are divided into two categories, switching and conduction losses. Losses in converters are calculated using analytical equations given in [19]and [20]. The
conduction and switching losses for voltage source converters
(VSC) and matrix converters are given by equations 1-2 and
equations 3-4 respectively. Switching frequencies are assumed
at values commensurate with semiconductor capabilities and
ratings [19], [20]. The DC-DC converter losses are obtained
using equations 5 and 6 [21].
A simple method referred to as combinatorics is dened
for quick calculation of losses in the wind farms. The method
considers network topology and uses combinatorics to come
up with simple formulae for calculation of farm losses. The
formula for radial topology shown in Figure 1 is derived to
illustrate the procedure.



in section 1
in section 2
in section 3

I 2 Rcable
(2I)2 Rcable
(3I)2 Rcable

in section n

(nI)2 Rcable

I 2 + (2I) + (3I) + .... (nI)


n (n + 1) (2n + 1) 2
I Rcable
R (/m) Lcable




(5 7) Dr


Rotor Diameter


The distance between the turbines is chosen to be something

in the range of 5 to 7 rotor diameters [17]. The calculated farm
losses include the losses in transmission lines. The transmission system losses include losses in the offshore transformer
or the converter depending on conguration and the cable
losses to shore. The losses for one turbine are calculated
summing the losses in individual components. These losses


Collection System



Table II gives the results of loss calculations for different

wind farms. The losses for all the components and wind
farms are normalized with respect to AC radial wind farm
losses. This is done in order to facilitate comparison and draw
conclusions. The DC wind farms have higher collection system
losses mainly because high DC current in the system. The
turbine will vary depending on turbine topology. The turbine
losses will be higher with high switching frequencies for the
converter used in turbines.
The collection system losses are high due to high DC current
in the collection system cables. The losses can be reduced for
DC radial wind farm by choosing higher output voltage. In
case of DC series and DC series-parallel wind farms increased
turbine output voltage is not possible due to design constraints.
Offshore locations present challenges for maintenance and
repair operations. The time to repair can be very high and
mostly during winters in northern hemisphere the locations
may also be inaccessible [6]. The protection systems play an
important role in reliability calculations, since the detection
and isolation of faults depends on protection. The operating
strategy for each wind farm topology with respect to protection
is dened to perform reliability calculations. The parameters of
interest are the Expected Energy Not Supplied (EENS), annual
interruption frequency (), annual interruption duration (r) and
annual unavailability of the system (U). The Average System
Availability Index (ASAI) is also calculated.
The wind farm has several turbines connected by the collection system and the wind farm is then connected to the onshore
grid by means of transmission system. The aim is to analyze
the reliability of the collection and transmission systems to
the onshore grid and propose alternatives. In order to conduct
the analysis the wind farm collection system is represented
with cables interconnecting the wind turbines. The turbines
are considered to be completely reliable (ideal) and producing
rated power.
Usually in reliability analysis the load points are known
and, the total load on the system is for instance dened as an
average value. For analysis of the wind farm collection system
such a load and its location cannot be identied, since load
is located in the grid. For analysis of the collection system a

lumped load is considered at the point of interconnection with

the onshore grid. The onshore grid however is not represented,
since a representation of the grid in a load ow analysis will
lead to the load being completely supplied even on wind farm
outage. This is because the onshore grid will act as a slack
bus and supply the load mismatch.





outages are then combined using basic techniques for series

and parallel systems dened in [23] and [24].
















Fig. 11. Transmission system Reliability block diagram for DC SeriesParallel wind farm

Fig. 9.


Fig. 10. Platform Reliability block diagram for DC Series-Parallel wind farm




Fig. 12. Series strings Reliability block diagram for DC Series-Parallel wind
farm (Collection System)

Steps in calculation of reliability indices

Figure 9 shows the method used for calculation of reliability

indices. In [22] it is proposed that a component outage leading
to load point outage can be used as a basis to analyze system
and load point reliability. This method of component outage
leading to system outage is applied in this analysis. The load
point in this analysis is the point of connection to the onshore
grid. The load is assumed to be equal to the total capacity of
the wind farm. It is possible that the rated power may never
be produced by a wind farm, but for the case of reliability
analysis of collection and transmission systems it is assumed
to be producing rated power.
In the rst step all the component outages are identied. For
each outage the fault is isolated by the upstream circuit breakers. The network connectivity is then checked to nd if there is
a path to the grid and possibility of restoration of connection is
examined. After evaluation of connectivity, reconguration is
performed if needed. Following reconguration only a fraction
of total generation would remain disconnected. If there is no
restoration all the generated energy is lost and wind farm is
disconnected till the faulty component is repaired.
In the case of restoration the fraction of total generation
capacity that remains disconnected is multiplied with the
component repair time to obtain expected energy not supplied
(EENS). The part of the generation that is reconnected uses
the restoration time to calculate EENS. The procedure is
repeated for all the component outages. Once all the outages
are evaluated, reliability block diagram is created. In the
block diagram all the components are connected in series. The


Fig. 13.


Reliability block diagram for DC Series-Parallel wind farm

Figures 10 - 13 show the reliability block diagrams for

the platform, transmission system, collection system and the
wind farm respectively. In order to obtain the reliability block
diagrams and indices the steps shown in Figure 9 are followed.
Figures 11 and 12 show that the cables in the collection system
and the transmission system are connected in series from a
reliability point of view. All the production in a string is lost
if there is a cable fault. In case of pure DC series connection
the entire farm production will be lost for either the collection
system or transmission system cable fault. Figures 10 through
12 show that various component outages are connected in
series for reliability calculations.
Failure data for circuit breakers is also considered in determining the reliability of the system. It is assumed that the DC
and AC breakers have same failure data. This may not be true,
but this assumption is made due to lack of data for DC circuit
breakers. Figure 12 shows the reliability block diagram of a
single string in a DC series-parallel wind farm. The collection
system reliability is obtained by a parallel combination of a
number of parallel strings. The collection system is represented
by a single block in Figure 13. Figure 13 shows the wind farm
reliability block diagram. The transmission system block in

Figure 13 represents combined block for the platform and the

transmission system to shore.
Cable (Collection System)
Cable (Transmission)
Platform Circuit Breaker 70 kV
Platform Circuit Breaker 150 kV
Platform Converter
Onshore Circuit Breaker 150 kV
Onshore Converter



Table III gives the component failure rates ( in failures/yr)

and repair time (r in hrs). The failure rates for cables are
reported in or failures/km/yr. These are obtained from [3],
[25]. The converter repair times for offshore platforms are
assumed equal to the repair time of the circuit breakers at
720 hrs. The failure rates and repair times are inputs and the
system values of interruption frequency, interruption duration
and unavailability are outputs of the calculations.
Table IV gives results for reliability calculations for all wind
farm congurations. It can be seen from the table that the
loop connection of Figure 2 improves ASAI for the AC radial
systems. The improvement in the ASAI with loop connection
depend on number of switches used in reconguration and
the number of turbines that can be disconnected. The star
connection has almost the same value of ASAI even with the
possibility of disconnection of turbines during faults.
It is well known that series connection of component
reduces reliability of the system and parallel connection improves reliability [23]. The numbers close to 80% for DC
series and series-parallel system are fairly high for such
systems. The DC series and series-parallel wind farms have
higher reliability because the cumulative length of collection
system cables is small. If smaller ratings of wind turbines are
used, for example 2 MW and 1 kV, the ASAI of the DC series
drops down to 57.2. The DC radial system has low reliability
compared with AC and DC wind farms because the collection
cable length is effective doubled due to two poles (positive
and negative) in the DC network.


Radial Loop

f /yr





Cost calculations are performed by estimating cost of each
component. Component costs are dened as function of the
individual component rating in [18]. The formulae derived in
[18] are used, since these are based on actual manufacturer
data. The cost of foundations and turbines are included in the

collection system costs. The costs of platforms are included

in the platform costs. The transmission costs include only the
cable costs and cable installation costs. All cost calculations
were made for 300 MW farms and with component ratings
dened in Table I. Costs obtained from calculations are given
in Table V. The cost calculations for the farms are indicative
costs of the equipments and installation. These are indicative
since costs are governed also by other factors like taxes,
interest rates etc. These other factors are not considered in the
calculations presented in this paper. Since the cost calculations
method will vary and has numerous factors that are not
considered in this analysis, the costs reported in Table V are
normalized costs. Normalization of all the costs is done with
total costs of the AC radial farm.

AC Radial
AC Radial Loop
AC Star
DC Radial
DC Series
DC Series-Parallel





Table V shows that the DC series design has least costs.

The elimination of offshore platform results in reduced costs
for this topology. The cost for DC Radial wind farm are
the highest. This is due to cables in collection system. This
topology requires one cable for positive pole and second one
for negative pole, thus effective doubling of length and costs
of the cable. The costs of AC radial with loop are higher due
to the presence of looped connection and additional circuit
breakers for redundancy.
DC wind farms have higher losses than the AC farms.
The losses in DC farms are due to the turbine and collection
system. The collection system losses DC wind farms are high
because the high DC current that ow in the system. The
collection system losses can be reduced by selecting high
turbine output voltages. This is feasible only for DC radial
wind farms. The DC series and series-parallel wind farms will
become infeasible with high turbine output voltages because
this requires a very high turbine power rating.
The reliability calculations provide insight for operation
strategy. The DC series-parallel wind farm has highest reliability. The DC series and series parallel wind farms have
high reliability because cable lengths are greatly reduced in
these designs. In order to increase the reliability and reduce
energy lost due to faults reconguration possibilities has to be
provided. In all the cases the interconnecting and transmission
cables are largest contributors to failures. Thus, there has to
be redundancy in both these circuits. Enhancement of system
reliability will also lead to increased income. But, added
reliability worth has to be evaluated.
From the costs perspective all the wind farms have similar
total costs. The costs of collection system are substantially

lower for both the DC series and DC series-parallel wind

farms. This is because high turbine voltage and power ratings.
The high ratings mean fewer turbines and thus reduced costs
for foundations. The lower collection system costs are to some
extent offset by the transmission costs for these designs. Thus,
the total costs become almost equal to the AC wind farm costs.
The DC series design eliminates offshore converter hence has
the least cost of all the designs.
The expected distances from shore are around 100 km, the
AC transmission may require reactive power compensation.
The reactive power compensation reduces power carrying
capacity of the transmission system, this makes it possible
to have HVDC connection to onshore grid. The cost benets
may also exists for use of HVDC connection to onshore grid.
Based on the calculations and comparison presented it can
be concluded that pure series connection has some promise,
but has limitations with respect to design of turbines that are
required to insulated for transmission voltage. The alternative
in DC series-parallel is also attractive but will still require
an offshore platform. The DC series design will also require
switchgear to be insulated at the transmission voltage level.
This may not be feasible. It could however be possible to
have sub-transmission level insulation in the turbines hence
the DC Series-Parallel design could be best suited for future
exploration. The comparison provides leads into measures
to be adopted for enhancement of reliability, operation and
protection of wind farm.
The comparison in this paper highlights the fact the all DC
wind farm based on series and series parallel connection may
still remain as options in academic world. Large or high wind
turbine ratings required for these new wind farm structures
to be comparable to AC designs. Also, it can be concluded
that it may not be possible to eliminate an offshore platform
and some form of step-up or conversion equipment will be
required offshore.
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Himanshu J. Bahirat (S06) received the B.E. degree from Visvesvaraya

Regional College of Engineering, Nagpur, India, in 2002 and is currently
pursuing the M.S.E.E. and Ph.D. degrees at Michigan Technological University, MI. He was with Schneider Electric Private Ltd. and Larsen and Toubro
Ltd. at their design centers in India, working in the area of circuit-breaker
design . Mr. Bahirat is a member of Eta Kappa Nu (HKN).

Dr.Bruce A.Mork (SM08) was born in Bismarck, ND, on June 4, 1957. He

received the B.S.M.E., M.S.E.E., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering
from North Dakota State University in 1979, 1981, and 1992, respectively.
From 1982 to 1986, he was a Design Engineer with Burns and McDonnell
Engineering, Kansas City, MO, in the areas of substation design, protective
relaying, and communications. He spent three years in Norway: as a Research
Engineer for the Norwegian State Power Board, Oslo, from 1989 to 1990;
Visiting Researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, Trondheim,
from 1990 to 1991; and Visiting Senior Scientist at SINTEF Energy Research, Trondheim, from 2001 to 2002. He joined the faculty of Michigan
Technological University, Houghton, in 1992, where he is currently Professor
of Electrical Engineering and Director of the Power and Energy Research
Center. Dr. Mork is a member of ASEE, NSPE, and Sigma Xi. He is a
Registered Professional Engineer in the States of Missouri and North Dakota.

Hans Kr. Hidalen (M05) was born in Norway in 1967. He received the
M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Norwegian University of Science and
Technology, Trondheim, Norway, in 1990 and 1998, respectively. Currently,
he is a Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology with
a special interest in electrical stress calculations and modeling.