Boulder Wind Power (BWP), a developer of advanced permanent magnet generators and full power converter technology for utility-scale wind turbines, announced an expansion of its product portfolio for onshore and offshore applications. Originally focused on developing and testing the core technology in direct drive applications, BWP now offers solutions for geared turbines while expanding its offering for direct drive wind turbines.
“Our new portfolio focuses on making generators that cost less and produce more energy for both onshore and offshore designs,” said Andy Cukurs, BWP Chief Executive Officer. “Our technology portfolio enables an air core generator architecture that has significant advantages as generator torque ratings grow. Instead of limiting this to direct drive applications, we’re expanding the product configurations to meet the complex needs of many wind turbine manufacturers.”
Among the new offerings, and a first for the wind industry, is the “Ultra Low Speed” generator category designed for onshore, low-wind speed sites where noise constraints limit aerodynamic rotor tip speed and, ultimately, the aerodynamic rotor diameter. This new category applies the benefits of BWP’s Low Speed generator, but with the industry’s lowest speed ratings and cost-effective higher torque. BWP’s Ultra Low Speed generators and their reduced RPM can help wind turbine manufacturers expand the swept area at these sites, and increase energy production by 5-15 percent – all while staying within noise constraints.
The expanded portfolio details the product variants within each generator line for Medium Speed (1.6 MW – 7.7 MW), Low Speed (1.0 MW – 7.5 MW) and Ultra Low Speed (1.0 MW – 5.3 MW). Recognizing the need for increased turbine ratings for offshore markets, BWP is also developing geared and direct-drive generators for 12 MW turbines, which will be released later in 2014. All BWP products can be customized to meet the needs of individual customers.
The product portfolio also features BWP’s power conversion systems that deliver efficient power conversion at low system cost. The 500kW modular back-to-back power converter has exceptional power quality and was developed with grid compliance and high efficiency in mind. Further optimization can take place by integrating the converter and generator, something unique to BWP’s use of a printed circuit board stator.
“Coupling our generators and power conversion technology can help wind turbine OEMs differentiate themselves with unique products that produce more energy at lower costs – a key technological advantage for improving an OEM’s competitiveness in a crowded global wind market,” said Cukurs. “In order to compete in the wind industry, new technologies have to be able to make more energy at lower costs, which is what we’ve been able to achieve at BWP.”