Many participants in wind power technology

Wind power suppliers: There is a large community of manufacturers and developers whose scope of supply ranges from complete wind turbine systems to hardware and software components and to numerous auxiliary subsystems that make up a wind farm. See list, photos, links.
By Frank J. Bartos, PE August 10, 2011

Power generating potential of Alstom 6-MW prototype DD wind turbine is indicated by its 150-m (492 ft) rotor diameter and 73.5-m blade length. Rotor speed range of 4-11.5 rpm is notably low. Courtesy: AlstomElectric power generation from wind energy is a relatively young but growing industry. In some parts of the world it has shown remarkable growth. Looking ahead, realities of market economics and political issues may not support the same continued growth—at least in some parts of the world.

Siemens 3 MW direct-drive turbine has nacelle dimensions of 6.8 m length x 4.2 m diameter (22.3 ft L x 13.8 ft dia.), enabling transport by standard vehicles. The outer- rotor generator design helps reduce nacelle weight. Courtesy: SiemensThis article updates the original one posted on CE’s Web site in August 2009. (Link to that and many related wind turbine articles below, including videos.)

The focus here is on direct-drive (DD) wind turbine technology that eliminates the gearbox from the drivetrain (see August 2011 CE article on DD wind turbines linked below).

The following is a selected listing of supplier companies to the multimegawatt (MW) wind turbine market. Only DD turbine offerings are listed, but all companies in the first table also make geared turbines, with the exception of Enercon GmbH. The list is not comprehensive—and does not include turbine erection or maintenance services.

 Suppliers of Large Wind Turbines (>1 MW)

Company

 

HQ Location

Direct-Drive (Gearless)

Turbine Offering

Acciona Energy

www.acciona-na.com

Spain

 

Alstom www.alstom.com/power/renewables

Switzerland

New generation offshore 6 MW

Prototype 2011

Serial production 2014

Clipper Windpower

www.clipperwind.com

USA

 

DeWind *

www.dewindco.com

Germany

 

Enercon

www.enercon.de

Germany

Gearless turbines only

5 models in 2-3 MW range

E-126 rated 7.5 MW

Gamesa www.gamesacorp.com/en

Spain

 

GE Energy www.ge.com/energy

USA

GE (4.1-113)            4.1 MW     offshore optimized

Mitsubishi Power Systems

www.mpshq.com

Japan

 

Nordex

www.nordex-online.com

Germany

N150/6000                6 MW

Prototype 2012-13

Serial production 2014

Northern Power Systems

www.northernpower.com

USA

NPS 2.3                  2.3 MW

Siemens Energy www.siemens.com/wind

Germany

SWT-2.3-113          2.3 MW

SWT-3.0-101             3 MW 

SWT-6.0-120             6 MW

Prototype 2011-13

Serial production 2014 for 6 MW

STX Windpower

www.stxwind.com

 

Netherlands

 

STX 82        1.5 MW, 2 MW

STX 93                      2 MW

Suzlon Energy www.suzlon.com

India

 

Vestas        www.vestas.com

Denmark

 

Windtec **

www.amsc-windtec.com

USA

 

*   part of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. Ltd.

** subsidiary of American Superconductor Corp.

Suppliers of Subsystems/Components for Large Wind Turbines

Company

Technology/Products Offered

URL

ABB

Variable-frequency drives (VFDs); converters; induction and PM synchronous generators; transformers; switchgear

www.abb.us/drives

American Superconductor

Power converters;

control systems

 

www.amsc.com

 

Bachmann electronic GmbH

Controllers; condition monitoring systems; grid measurement and monitoring modules

www.bachmann.info

Beckhoff Automation

PC-based controls;

I/O terminals; wind farm networking

www.beckhoffautomation.com

Bosch Rexroth

Pitch and yaw drives (electromechanical and hydraulic); yaw and drivetrain brake systems

www.boschrexroth-us.com 

Cooper Power Systems

Software for power trans-mission/distribution analysis; transformers; distribution switchgear

www.cooperpower.com

Dataforth Corp.

Signal conditioners for a variety of sensors; fiber-optic communication modules

www.dataforth.com

Eaton Corp.

Hydraulic pitch control systems; hydraulic rotor brake control; remote condition monitoring

www.eaton.com/hydraulics

Moog Inc.

Electric and hydraulic blade-pitch control; brush slip rings; fiber-optic remote rotor monitoring

www.moog.com

 

National Instruments

Hardware/software for pitch/yaw control; turbine condition monitoring (blade, generator)

www.ni.com

 

Parker Hannifin Corp.

Rotor brake components; pitch systems; power control/inverter modules

www.parker.com

The Switch Controls & Converters

PM synchronous and other generators;

full-power converters

www.theswitch.com

Frank J. Bartos, PE, is a Control Engineering contributing content specialist. Reach him at braunbart@sbcglobal.net