At AWEA’s recent WINDPOWER 2015 Conference in Orlando, Wolfgang Beez, senior product marketing manager at Maxwell Technologies, presented a poster titled “Retrofitting Wind Turbines for Optimal Performance” in conjunction with Freqcon GmbH, a German developer and distributor of renewable energy systems.
They made the case that Maxwell ultracapacitors significantly reduce turbine O&M costs and eliminate battery-related downtime issues and safety concerns in cold or hot weather conditions. The ultracapacitors have been used in pitch systems since 1999 and are now in over 30,000 turbines worldwide.
The abstract of the poster is detailed here.
Traditional battery based electrical-pitch controls cause many of the headaches that wind farm owners and operators face. Hot or cold temperatures can lead to wind turbine downtimes associated with battery-related failures, as well as costly battery system maintenance or replacements.
This frustration with electric-pitch control is leading to increased interest from owners and operators for a technology that could upgrade their turbines with a retrofit that would eliminate the need to replace batteries every two to five years, and help them deal with the high maintenance costs and revenue losses that batteries inflict on their operations.
By retrofitting a wind turbine’s batteries with ultracapacitors, operators can reduce costs and extend their wind turbines’ working life. Because ultracapacitors provide power safety and reliability for more than one million cycles in a wide range of temperatures, from -40° to 65° C, a retrofit solution with ultracapacitors could outlast the life of the wind turbine.
Cost savings of up to 40% over batteries for the lifetime of the wind turbine is possible through a retrofit, not including non-financial benefits, such as eliminating safety concerns with climbing to the top of the turbine for battery replacements.
To view the poster, click here.
Senior product marketing manager
Filed Under: News, Turbines