Gamesa Awards Prizes for Two Wind Turbine Patents (Spain)
For a second consecutive year, Gamesa’s Patents and Inventors Contest has honored the hard work and effort of its employees in the area of invention and patents, two cornerstones for developing and safeguarding the company’s technological innovations.
The judges’ panel reviewed a total of 26 patents based on the following criteria: generation of value for the company, in cost of energy terms; the potential for defending the innovation against rivals; how well the concept fit with the company’s technology strategy; groundbreaking ideas and the simplicity of the idea and/or technology.
The quality and competitiveness of patents this year merited honours for two inventions: a multilevel capacity converter using H-bridges, which was spearheaded by Andrés Agudo and Alvar Mayor, and a blade-handling tool developed by Gonzalo Coloma and Beinat Garminde.
Reduction if harmonics and savings on maintenance costs
The converter or multilevel capacity inverter which uses H-bridges is applied to a multilevel converter, to which is added an H-bridge topology which reduces harmonics. Control mechanisms used to operate the system are also protected. This topology is also useful for STATCOM applications.
Meanwhile, the tool for blade handling allows operators to grasp blades without damaging them and includes a mechanism for controlling the turning of the blade during hoisting and lowering activities. This invention’s No. 1 innovation is that it eliminates the need for the use of external cranes, generating substantial savings on maintenance costs. This device may be used on all Gamesa G5X-850 kW, G8X-2.0 MW and G9X-2.0 MW turbines.
During the awards ceremony, Gamesa Chairman and CEO Jorge Calvet underscored the importance of technological innovation to the wind energy industry. “Innovation is key, because it is our competitive advantage and our hope of future success: the only thing that will set us apart in the future. Gamesa’s challenge lies in maintaining our innovation lead over competitors, staying as far ahead of them as possible for as long as possible,” he added, thereby encouraging the company’s technology experts to develop new patents.
According to Gamesa Technology Managing Director, José Antonio Malumbres, “the process for registering a patent is a long and arduous one. First, you must come up with an idea no one has thought of before, work on it, nurture it and translate it into something patentable. But patents are one of our team’s primary indicators of excellence and, more importantly, inventions guarantee that we can bring to market products that offer our customers the best possible cost of energy.”
Malumbres concluded the awards ceremony by inviting personnel in China, India and the United States to participate in next year’s contest as a means of further encouraging Gamesa’s patenting activity. “Our globalisation process will give us even greater capacity for innovation”.
Patents at Gamesa
Gamesa is one of the most active industrial wind energy groups in the patent registration business in the past few years. Since it began developing its own innovations in 2003, the company has submitted and registered for a total of 210 inventions, which, considering all the markets where Gamesa operates, are 544.
In 2010, Gamesa has submitted 26 new patent requests worldwide. The most active offices are in Pamplona, Madrid and Bilbao (Spain) and Penssylvania (US).
The majority of Gamesa’s innovations in recent years are linked to the development of wind turbine blades, namely for its new machine, the Gamesa G10X-4.5 MW.
Ten new technology centres worlwide and R&D investments totalling 150 million euros
Gamesa’s commitment to the innovation is based on 150 million euro R&D investments planned on Gamesa’s 2011-2013 Business Plan.
In 2011, Gamesa will have ten technology centres worldwide, after opening five new facilities during this year in Virginia (US), Glasgow(Scotland, UK) -both of them devoted to the development of offshore technology-, Chennai (India), Singapore and Brazil. Nowadays, the company owns R+D centres in Spain, the US and China.
Gamesa expects to increase the engineering hours up to 1.5 million per year and to double R&D personnel by 2013 (50% of 2013 technology workforce in international centers).
Offshore WIND staff, November 21, 2011; Image: gamesacorp