GE Develops High Density Power Stack
GE Power Conversion has created a higher density power stack that will enable wind converters to remain small in size while delivering more power.
The LV3 power stack has increased density, reaching 1250 amps compared to previous offerings of 1000 amps. Looking at the wind sector in particular, when implanted at the heart of GE’s LV3 converter, it creates up to 25% more power given same wind converter footprint, helping to improve levelized cost of energy (LCOE), GE said.
As wind power pushes to reduce the cost of energy, especially of offshore wind, manufacturers have increasingly sought to increase the size of wind turbines – the bigger they are, the more power they can extract from the wind. Looking specifically at converters, they must deliver far more power capability in large wind turbines compared to smaller ones, while remaining small in size. According to the company, the LV3 power stack was created acknowledging this industry need.
The LV3 was born out of multiple power module platforms developed by GE over the years, but this next generation power module has even more flexibility and reliability thanks to a single modular design, GE said.
The company added that the design has many advantages, mainly due to its versatility to be used across different sectors, including wind, tidal and solar, which helps to develop a global engineering community and enables it to address and fix issues across multiple industrial segments.
Standardizing all power stacks so that the same converter is used throughout reduces the amount of training each engineer must undertake. Engineers are therefore equipped with the necessary skills faster, wasting no time to prepare themselves to get out in the field. In addition, standardizing the power stacks can also result in similar parts being used in greater volumes across different sites and sectors, which can contribute to further cost savings, according to GE.
Use of one standardized power stack across different segments means that if there is a component failure, the necessary parts will be made readily available – alongside an expert engineer – across the world. This can significantly reduce downtime and result in better availability to customers through speeding up delivery times. Also, as additional applications are developed from the same standardized building blocks, it’s easier for engineers and service teams to re-use existing procedures and troubleshooting tools to address potential issues, simplifying service and maintenance procedures while lowering overall cost of ownership, the company explained.