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Wind Energy Update

24 Mar 2011 10:03:59

Alstom to test 6 MW direct drive turbine

Power generation equipment and services specialist Alstom is collaborating with Belgian wind farm developer Belwind to demonstrate its 6 MW direct drive offshore wind turbine as part of a demonstrator project in Belgium of approximately 40MW. This project, which is calling for EU funding under the NER300 scheme, would be developed over the period 2012–2015 at phase 2 of the Belwind wind farm located on the Bligh Bank on the Belgian continental shelf, near the Belgian port of Zeebrugge in Flanders. Belwind will provide an essential proving ground for Alstom's new offshore wind turbine technology testing.

It has also emerged that Alstom and power conversion specialist Converteam are collaborating on the world's largest direct drive permanent magnet generator (PMG) for a wind turbine. As a first step Converteam will equip Alstom's two 6 MW offshore wind turbine prototypes that will be installed onshore and offshore in Europe during winter 2011 and in 2012.

Converteam will supply Alstom with its advanced high density direct drive PMG, which is described as a more compact and lightweight design compared to earlier generation direct drive systems. Alstom's Pure Torque technology and Converteam's direct drive PMG are combining together to improve upon the reliability of the turbine's drive train.

Other key features of the turbine include its very large rotor diameter – using the world's longest turbine blades jointly developed with LM Wind Power – and 6 MW power output for higher energy output.

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