Demonstration device scheduled to be operational by late 2005

Hawaiian Electric recently awarded S&C Electric’s Milwaukee, Wis.-based power quality products division exclusive design and manufacturing rights to a grid stabilizing device for wind farms. The Electronic Shock Absorber (ESA) patented by Hawaiian Electric, combines super capacitor energy storage and power-electronic inverter modules with an advanced control system.

The ESA will store excess power during times of suddenly amplified generation and release the energy supply during times of suddenly reduced generation. The system will also trade reactive power with the grid to reduce voltage variations, which will enhance the capability of a wind farm to ride through transient fault conditions on the grid.

Dr. Karl Stahlkopf, Hawaiian Electric’s senior vice president for energy solutions and chief technology officer is hopeful about the potential for the ESA. “If successful, the ESA will stabilize a wind farm’s energy fluctuations,” Stahlkopf says. “The better fluency and voltage control of the transmission system will increase wind generation in Hawaii.”

A demonstration ESA is expected to be installed and operational on the island of Hawaii by late 2005.