Norvento, Spanish company of renewable technologies, has started the validation tests of a new type of electric generator in the laboratory of the Innovation Center Norvento Enerxía (CIne). This new electric generator is specially designed for offshore wind turbines, and is based on magnetic multiplication technology that enables to reduce the size and weight compared to the usual technologies. The project, now in the testing phase, is driven by a consortium of three companies: Magnomatics, Seaplace and Norvento.
The English Magnomatics has been responsible for the design and manufacture of the Pseudo Direct Drive electric generator with magnetic multiplication technology. The Spanish Seaplace, specializing in the field of ocean engineering, has developed the concept of platform with floating foundations on which the wind turbine will be placed. The latter, not needing traditional foundations, opens the range of locations where these new turbines could be installed. On the other hand, Norvento participates as a qualified user of the generator concept, validating both its requirements and its actual performance, thanks to the generators test bench of its CIne laboratory where it has also tested other designs for its own wind turbines.
The generator being tested is a 500kW prototype scaled for what will be needed in the future for a turbine between 8 and 12MW
The Norvento, Seaplace and Magnomatics engineers are carrying out the tests in a test bench of the Norvento Enerxía Innovation Center in Lugo and will continue during the spring of 2019. The generator being tested is a 500kW prototype scaled for what will be needed in the future for a turbine between 8 and 12MW.
“A watershed in offshore wind”
Pablo Fernández Castro, founder and CEO of Norvento, stressed that “we are very proud of Norvento´s collaboration with Magnomatics, undoubtedly a leading global company, in the creation of such a disruptive generator that can mark a watershed in offshore wind. ”
For his part, David Latimer, CEO of Magnomatics, said he was “very confident that our collaboration with Norvento will allow us to accelerate the validation of the Pseudo-Direct Drive technology and it may even open the door to a broader commercial relationship within the field of wind technology”.
Efficiency and cost reduction
The development of this prototype is part of the CHEF Project (Compact Holistic Efficient Floating Turbine), which aims to provide offshore wind energy with greater capacity for energy production per wind turbine, as well as improving efficiency and reducing costs, through the development of a novel electric generator. This innovative generator allows to get rid of the mechanical multiplication system, which is essential in offshore wind since this component is subject to mechanical wear, which causes a high maintenance cost, even higher at sea.
This technology also allows reducing the size of the structures that support the wind turbine resulting in a reduction in the cost of the system
In order to get rid of the mechanical multiplication system without resulting in a huge size or weight, this generator uses a magnetic multiplication concept f, incorporating two rotors and permanent magnets in a novel configuration that allows it to reach a power density much higher than the existing alternatives. The limitation of the size and weight of this component is key to the future of offshore wind, since it reduces the size of the structures that support the wind turbine resulting in a reduction in the cost of the system. And all this without relying on mechanical transmission systems, which usually generate reliability problems and increase maintenance costs due to the constant checks required.
This reduction in the size and total weight of the turbine is especially important in the case of wind turbines located on floating platforms, of particular interest for Spain due to the small size of the continental shelf on our coasts, both peninsular and insular. In addition, this technology contributes to reduce the Cost of Energy (LCOE, or Levelized Cost of Electricity) of the floating wind by around 5%.
The Consortium is developing its activity within the framework of the DemoWind 2 ERA-NET program, funded by the European Union through Horizon 2020. Its aim is to contribute to address the main social challenges, boost Europe’s industrial leadership and reinforce the excellence of its scientific base.