The Switch challenges wind industry in drive train technology debate

Source:The Switch

The Switch, a leading manufacturer of permanent magnet generators and full-power converters, released today a technology paper addressing the ongoing industry debate on drive train technology selection. With this paper, the Finnish manufacturer tackles the performance misconceptions still surrounding the two main drive train technologies that currently dominate the wind energy industry and explains why PMG with a full-power converter (FPC) will emerge as the clear drive drain technology of choice for modern wind turbines.

Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, The Switch CEO, commented: “In the wind power industry, the debate on which generator and converter option makes for the best modern wind turbine drive train is still raging. Numerous technology experts and industry commentators promote the use of the double-fed induction generator technology, while expressing doubts about the advantages of the permanent magnet generator (PMG) approach. In this paper, we aim to set the record straight and explain why PMG with a full-power converter (FPC) is by far the best technology, regardless of which key decision-making criteria you use.”

“PMG-FPC drive trains work out to be a cheaper, more cost-effective option over the total life cycle of the turbine. Moreover, PMG-FPC simplicity leads to superior reliability and higher availability. Many turbine manufacturers still rely on outdated generator technology choices. For those businesses choosing to adopt PMG-FPC drive train technology, accepting a steep adaptation curve in the short term will enable them to reap the benefits of superior AEP in the medium and long term.”

Read the The Switch paper here: PMG vs. DFIG – the big generator technology debate (pdf)

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