The concept of “Build your own turbine,” in which customers can “design” their own, comes from an independent engineering company involved in designing electrical systems for wind turbines.
AMSC Windtec, a subsidiary of U.S-based American Superconductor, designs a variety of megawatt-class wind turbines for both onshore and offshore. AMSC Windtec then licenses those designs to manufacturers, providing service and support through volume production, and then provides the power electronics and control systems required for each wind turbine. This business model lets new wind-turbine manufacturers begin commercial production in as little as 12 months.
AMSC Windtec say it has more than a dozen customers around the world, including China’s Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd., Dongfang Turbine Co. Ltd,. and Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. These companies work with AMSC Windtec on several wind turbine platforms, and each of which use power electronics and control systems from AMSC. To date, AMSC says it has shipped enough products to operate turbines with a total power capacity of over 10,000 MW.
AMSC’s wind turbine power electronics and control systems include the company’s PowerModule power converters, pitch and yaw converters, SCADA systems and integrated control systems. They assist with power production to maximize efficiency by controlling power flow, regulating voltage, monitoring system performance, controlling the pitch of wind turbine blades and the yaw of the turbines.
AMSC’s wind farm interconnection equipment
AMSC’s D-VAR equipment intended to make a grid smarter is said provide dynamic voltage control, power factor correction, and post-contingency reactive compensation to stabilize a power grid and prevent disruptive events such as voltage collapse. The company says the product is widely used for connecting wind farms to power grids worldwide. The D-VAR and D-VAR RT equipment are at work in more than 70 wind farms in seven countries that are capable of producing more than 5,000 MW of combined zero-emission electricity.
A number of countries and provinces have imposed stringent interconnection requirements for wind farms serving as a catalyst for AMSC’s sales. These countries include the United Kingdom, where D-VAR equipment is serving more than 10 wind farms, and Australia, where the company is helping to connect a third of the country’s wind power to its grid. In 2009, AMSC announced its first D-VAR system sale into China, the world’s largest installer of wind power. The company has received multiple follow-on orders in that market.
Global wind power market
According to the Global Wind Energy Council the global wind power installed base grew by 38,000 MW, or more than 30 percent, in 2009 to 158,505 MW. The council expects this installed base to more than double to 347,000 MW by the end of 2013. Countries in the Asia Pacific region, particularly China, are expected to be significant contributors to this expansion.
Filed Under: Construction, News, Towers