Eyebrows raised at Global Windpower Conference
Windflow’s technology raises eyebrows at Global Windpower Conference
Windflow Technology’s innovative turbine technology gained strong interest at the recent Global Windpower Conference in Chicago. Organised by the American Wind Energy Association, the convention attracted more than 3,600 delegates from around the world. Windflow Technology’s CEO, Geoff Henderson gave a poster presentation on the company’s unique Torque Limiting Gearbox System.
“It was really exciting to have representatives of the world’s leading manufacturers and wind farm operators expressing such strong interest in our machine and the torque limiting technology,” said Mr Henderson. “The performance of our prototype provides strong evidence that we have an answer to the gearbox failures and grid integration issues that are bedeviling the industry.”
The Torque Limiting Gearbox allows Windflow to drive a synchronous generator directly on line (unique in the wind industry). “Even when the windmill has not been operating, the synchronous generator at Gebbies Pass has been used to support the voltage of the electricity supply to consumers in the area,” said Mr Henderson. “It enables us to generate income even when the wind is not blowing.”
According to Mr Henderson, many grid operators around the world are demanding that wind turbines provide the fault ride-through capability required to ensure grid stability. “They expect wind turbines to perform functions that conventional power plants, using synchronous generators, routinely perform,” he said. “But no wind turbine other than the Windflow can drive a conventional synchronous generator. This leads to expensive and complex power electronic systems to provide fault ride-through, whereas our design embodies this and other useful electrical capabilities as standard.”
This year, Windflow plans to install six machines on a wind farm near Palmerston North.