The planned massive introduction of renewable energy sources creates challenges for the frequency and voltage stability of electrical networks. This is especially true for smaller systems, and a combustion engine synchronous generating set with the option of having a synchronous condenser operational mode makes sense.

The introduction of wind and solar power is already a challenge for the interconnected systems in Europe and elsewhere, but represents a substantial complication for smaller synchronous systems, such as islands. Both wind and solar based energy sources located in a limited area can show relatively large and fast variations in output. Therefore, a proper dimensioning of active and reactive power balancing is essential.

The evolving generation mix. 

Many smaller power systems, such as those on islands, have traditionally relied on a limited number of feasible generation technologies. These options include combustion engines, steam or gas turbines, small-scale hydro, or a direct connection to the mainland. However, this situation is rapidly changing. The rapid development of renewable generation based mainly on wind and solar radiation provides new opportunities, while even more futuristic power generation based on tidal flows or wave energy is gradually emerging. For many larger systems, a critical share of generation from variable sources has not been reached yet. But for smaller systems, a critical situation can occur rapidly due to their limited size.

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  Niklas Wägar

   Director Technology & Solutions
   Wärtsilä Energy Solutions
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