Report from Hannover: Wind in the sails for Hermes Award winner

Energy is the central theme at the Hannover Messe trade fair  2009. Wind turbine generators, superconducting cables for transmission lines, and smart meters are among technologies highlighted. Use of a synchronous generator eliminates need for frequency inverters and reduces driveline weight 20% in the award-winning wind turbine shown.


Visitors inspect interior of Enercon wind turbine at Hannover Messe’s inaugural Wind 2009 trade fair. Source: Deutsche Messe

Hannover, Germany – The central theme of this year’s Hannover Messe trade fair is energy—securing future energy supplies by using it more efficiently and by developing and deploying renewable energy technologies.
Hannover Messe is an umbrella event for 13 individual trade shows. One of these is Energy, which includes technologies ranging from smart meters for homes to superconducting cables for transmission lines. This year also marks the first year for a new trade fair, Wind . The Wind expo presented extraordinary displays, including a massive turbine from Enercon that allowed visitors to peer inside from an elevated platform (see photo).
Wind provides more than 70,000 jobs
Wind power accounts for approximately 7% of Germany’s energy production, is responsible for over 70,000 jobs, and is a strong export market. According to VDMA Power Systems Association (the German wind energy association), the wind sector has recorded growth rates of over 30 percent for the last three years in a row, and 70% of Germany’s wind power manufactured products are exported. It’s no wonder then that German engineers are refining wind turbines with the skill in engineering and manufacturing that the country is known for.
Underscoring Germany’s commitment to wind turbine R&D, the winner of this year’s coveted Hermes award was Voith Turbo GmBH , for their new WinDrive turbine technology. The juried Hermes award is conferred by Hannover Messe annually during the opening ceremony. The award includes a purse of 100,000 euros, said to be one of the largest purses in industrial competitions.

On location at Hannover Fair

Control Engineering editorial director David Greenfield, Consulting-Specifying Engineer editor Michael Ivanovich, and Plant Engineering editor Bob Vavra will be reporting from Hannover Messe this week on the new ideas and new technologies from the 2009 event.

- Flying penguin, innovations, efficiency
- Phoenix Contact shows new networking, safety relay, junction box
- Report from Hannover: Daily Innovation Focus
- Wind in the sails for Hermes Award winner
- Looking for an attendance bump at Hannover Fair
- Voice of youth at Hannover Fair
- Buzzwords include 'Pleasantly surprised'
- Product focus is on innovation, energy, says Siemens executive
- Daily Innovation Focus: sensors, Ethernet switches, safety, controllers
- World Energy Dialogue says lead environmentally to succeed
- New SEW system designer packages, stainless steel gear motor
- New Beckhoff automation hardware, software
- Daily Innovation Focus: explosion-proof sensors, efficiency certification

Voith Turbo manufactures variable-speed hydrodynamic drives for controlling pumps, compressors and other turbo machinery in power generation. When presenting the award, the German Minister of Education and Research said that in addition to representing superior technological innovation, the WinDrive also represents the importance of developing technologies to combat climate change.
Engineering efficiency: how they did it
I stopped by the Voith Turbo exhibit and looked at a model of the WinDrive. It was amazingly simple. According to Uwe Reimesch, general manager of sales, the WinDrive uses a combination of a torque converter on the output end and a planetary gear designed as a superimposed gear on the input end.
Together, this assembly converts variable input speeds into constant output speeds for synchronous generators. This eliminates the need for a frequency inverter while providing network-quality power output. As a result, driveline weight is reduced by 20%, output and reliability are increased, and maintenance is decreased.
I asked, what he thought of the Hermes Award. “It’s great,” he said. “It’s just what a company needs to put wind in its sails when starting up a new product.”
- Michael Ivanovich, editor-in-chief, Consulting-Specifying Engineer.
Edited by Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief, Control Engineering News Desk,
Register here to select your choice of free eNewsletters.

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
Variable speed drives: Smooth, efficient, electrically quite motion control; Process control upgrades; Mobile intelligence; Product finalists: Vote now; Product Exclusives
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
This article collection contains the 5 most referenced articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security