Siemens supplies green 66kV switchgear for UK wind farm

July 11, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Siemens will supply 102 high voltage gas insulated switchgear (GIS) for a UK wind farm in a multi-million euro deal. The switches operate with a vacuum circuit-breaker and clean air instead of polluting sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) as the insulating medium.

The 8VM1 switchgear supplied to Siemens Gamesa for the East Anglia One offshore wind farm will protect each wind turbine individually against overloads and short-circuits and supply power to 600,000 homes from 2020.

Siemens Gamesa is building the wind farm for ScottishPower Renewables in approximately 300 square kilometers of space, and is using a new connection and wind farm grid concept with a voltage of 66 kV. Compared to the usual 33 kV connection, it increases the transmission capacity of each cable and simultaneously reduces transmission losses. Siemens Gamesa has adapted the substation transformers and converters to the wind turbines. Siemens will ship all 102 switchpanels by mid-2019.

The 8VM1 eliminates the use of SF6, and using vacuum switchgear technology with clean air as the insulating gas makes it possible to minimise expenditures for operating and maintaining the switchgear.

Siemens sees the 66 kV wind farm grid as the future standard for offshore wind farms. "We are very pleased to see the market quickly accepting the clean air technology and, combined with the 66 kV voltage level, it will offer our customers real savings potential," said Karlheiz Kronen, CEO of the High Voltage Products Business Unit within the Siemens Energy Management Division. "We worked together with the customer at a very early stage in the project and found the optimum solution for installing the switchgear in the base of the turbine."

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