Government grant for wind turbine development

Wed, 09 May 2012

Edinburgh based generator company NGenTec has secured a second grant from the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The latest grant for £782,991, awarded as part of the Offshore Wind Component Technologies Development and Demonstration Scheme, will continue to support NGenTec technology and the company’s plans to develop a range of generators ready for potential customers.

NGenTec designs and supplies low, medium speed and direct drive permanent magnet generators for MW scale onshore and offshore wind turbines. NGenTec is also working with gearbox manufacturers to address the integrated hybrid drive train market and offer a one stop shop drivetrain to the wind turbine OEMs.

Its technology, first developed at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, addresses some of the fundamental drivers of the wind energy market by decreasing costs, increasing availability and maximising energy yield.

Dr Makhlouf Benatmane, CEO of NGenTec said: “The DECC grant is a testament to the progress we have made in such a short period and an endorsement of our technology as a potential driver for making wind turbine generators work more efficiently and contributing to bringing down the cost of energy and particularly that of offshore wind.

“Our generators bring key cost and performance advantages, including greater availability, higher energy yield and ease of high quality manufacturing and assembly.”

NGenTec's patented design is based on axial flux permanent magnet generator technology. The machine is modular and air cored, providing unique features such as inherent redundancy, increased availability and reduced operating costs, which all directly translate to reduced cost of electricity. Its modularity of both rotor and stator simplifies transportation and handling, while NGenTec's technology and design eliminates the powerful magnetic forces, making manufacture/assembly far easier than using conventional machines.

In December 2010, NGenTec was awarded a first DECC grant as part of The Environmental Transformation Fund to design, manufacture and assemble a 1MW direct drive generator prototype. At the beginning of 2012, that prototype was assembled in just a few days. Representing a section of a 6MW machine, it is currently undergoing loads and performance testing. To date, all tests show that the technology meets, or exceeds, the set design criteria and performance characteristics.

Dr Benatmane concluded: “The initial results from the first round of testing put us in a very strong position with major global players who have been watching our progress with interest. The next stage is to begin working with wind turbine manufacturers to integrate our technology on a commercial footing.”


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