Danotek, a leader in the development and manufacture of highly efficient and reliable permanent magnet (PM) generators and power converter systems for the global wind energy market, today announced they will be expanding their portfolio with the addition of large PM generators for low- to medium-speed applications primarily intended to meet the growing market for offshore wind turbines with rated outputs within the range of 6 to 8MW.
The 7MW PM generator class builds on the foundations laid by the company’s existing range of medium-and high-speed generators for onshore installations. By scaling up existing designs that are already in advanced development or early production, Danotek is able to offer to wind turbine OEMs prototype systems that are fully optimized to the OEMs’ requirements within twelve (12) months. Both direct drive and medium-speed drivetrains are applicable to offshore installations, the preferred solution being a compromise to the often divergent goals of maximizing reliability (by simplifying gearbox design), minimizing weight, increasing efficiency, and maintaining a low capital cost. Direct drive, low-speed PM generators are physically much larger but enable a less complex drivetrain by removing the need for a gearbox. The use of a single- or two-stage gearbox with a medium-speed PM generator delivers a highly reliable drivetrain without incurring the significant additional weight and costs associated with large diameter direct drive generators. Danotek’s new product family will be able to be scaled for both direct drive and medium-speed drivetrains.
The offshore wind market has been steadily growing globally. From today’s installed base of 4.1GW, offshore wind is forecast to grow at a CAGR of more than 60% to exceed 70GW by 2017 (Pike Research, 2011, Global Wind Energy Outlook Report). Growth in offshore wind is primarily driven by increasing demand in Europe and Asia. One of the challenges facing developers of offshore wind projects is the reliability of the wind turbine drivetrain. Traditional double-fed induction generators (DFIG) have the disadvantage of requiring extensive, and potentially expensive, routine servicing of the brush gear and slip-rings. PM generators completely avoid this maintenance headache.
“Danotek’s decision to address the offshore market came very naturally,” CEO Don Naab stated. “With all the attention and success we have had with our current permanent magnet generator onshore programs, our confidence and customers have driven us to this decision.” Furthermore, in June 2011, a consortium led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that includes Danotek, was one of six groups selected for an award by the Department of Energy (DOE) to advance next-generation designs for wind turbine drivetrains. The project will focus on reducing the cost of wind energy by optimization of the wind turbine drivetrain, with technology developed being scalable to drivetrains of 10MW or more. Commenting on the programs’ synergies, Mr. Naab said “We anticipate leveraging knowledge gained from the DOE program to enhance and accelerate our 7MW offshore generator program.”
About Danotek Motion Technologies
Danotek Motion Technologies develops and manufactures highly efficient energy conversion systems for the wind energy and industrial markets. Danotek has patents pending on several innovative products, including permanent magnet (PM) generators and power electronics for wind turbines as well as variably speed propulsion and accessory drives for the electric and hybrid electric vehicle markets. The company is based in Canton, MI
Source: danotekmotion, September 28, 2011