GreenSpur Renewables has been awarded GBP 50,000 from the GBP 6 million SCORE fund, to move towards putting its low cost direct drive permanent magnet generator (DD-PMG) to test at the 10MW+ level by the early 2020s.
The company's technology is using ferrites to create the magnetic field instead of rare earth sources currently used. Ferrites are abundant, accessible and cheap to source, promising huge savings for the sector, OrbsEnergy pointed out, adding that using ferrites could also eliminate the industry-wide reliance on Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB), the scarce and expensive rare magnet used in existing generator designs.
The cash injection will now allow GreenSpur to build a 50kW generator, 25 times bigger than its original 2kW prototype, created two years ago with the help of an earlier SCORE grant.
GreenSpur plans to have completed its 50kW generator by early 2017.
The company then aims to focus on fast-tracking its development to reach the 1MW level. This is seen by the industry as a key stepping stone to much larger units in the 6MW to 15MW range, which GreenSpur plans to have available from the early 2020s onwards.
GreenSpur are now actively engaging with the market with the objective of establishing a formal development partnership to take the technology to the multi-MW levels.
Andrew Hine, co-director of the Southend-based company, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the new SCORE grant, which will enable us to demonstrate the scaling potential of our technology. We are now building a 50kW unit and leveraging the knowledge gained from our 2kW prototype unit. Going from 2kW to 1MW without any steps in between is not practical. Starting at the 50kw level is a sensible step. It will help us de-risk future scaling initiatives.”
Rob Bush, SCORE project manager, said the Green Spur project was one of the most exciting “game changers” in current offshore wind research. “Using ferrites would have a huge impact on the cost of offshore wind and the research in this project is unique. The panel was so impressed with the research so far and the potential is immense. It was a unanimous decision for GreenSpur to have the first award of the maximum SCORE grant of £50,000.”