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Content archived on 2024-05-07

Development of a direct drive permanent magnet generator of innovative modular construction for large wind turbines



The main objective of the project is to further the development and cost reduction of large wind turbines, by providing an innovative direct drive system based on a permanent magnet generator (PMG) to be evaluated on a TW 1500 wind turbine.

More specifically, this project will involve the design, manufacture and testing (testing both components and the complete assembly on a TW 1500 wind turbine) of a megawatt scale direct drive PMG. The reliability, performance and costs of this system will be evaluated and compared with a TW 1500 wind turbine with conventional gear box and generator arrangement.

Technical Approach

The initial stages will consist of design specification and then detailed design of the generator system. The variable speed system will have part of its power conditioning systems built into the stator modules of the PMG. To support the completion of the power conditioning system and the link to the electricity grid, a specialist power engineering company will be involved. Laboratory tests on components and factory tests on the new PMG will be performed, leading to field tests on a modified TW 1500 wind turbine incorporating the PMG.

The TW 1500 wind turbine with PMG will be tested on a site along side another TW 1000 machine of a standard design employing a gearbox and high speed generator. A parallel programme of testing of the two machines will give a valuable comparison of the operational characteristics of the conventional system with the gearless PMG system.

In order to make an appropriate overall assessment of the performance of the PMG system, a design study will be carried out to examine issues of integrated nacelle design and to develop an optimised rotor, since the original rotor was designed for operation with a gearbox generator system. The purpose of this additional study is to ensure that the full potential of the PMG system can be assessed even if it is not practical to implement all the most advanced arrangement ideas in this project. This study will therefore create a frame of reference in which not only the performance of the test wind turbine but also the future potential of wind turbine designs with such a direct drive PMG can be assessed.

Expected Achievements and Exploitation

The main outputs of the project will be a complete design specification for the PMG, the assembled PMG direct drive system integrated with new machine systems for the TW 1500, a data acquisition system for installation and commissioning in co-ordination with the erection and commissioning of the test wind turbine, and a comprehensive final report. Both partners see considerable future potential for commercial exploitation in an expanding world market.

Call for proposal

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Tacke Windtechnik GmbH & Co KG
EU contribution
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Holsterfeld 5A
48499 Salzbergen

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Total cost
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Participants (2)