HERMES AWARD goes to Voith Turbo Wind

  • April 20, 2009
  • News
April 20, 2009 - The Voith Turbo Wind company, based in Crailsheim, Germany, has been declared the winner of the HERMES AWARD 2009. An independent jury selected the company on the basis of its newly developed mechatronic drive system allowing for the highly dynamic speed control of wind turbine rotors. Endowed with a purse of 100,000 euros, the HERMES AWARD is one of the world's most coveted industrial prizes, and is presented annually at the Opening Ceremony of HANNOVER MESSE. Environmentally friendly wind turbines are producing a growing share of electric power. To feed the power grid through synchronous generators, the variable wind speed needs to be converted to a constant output speed. The WinDrive system represents the first time a highly dynamic variable transmission has been applied to the drive train of a wind turbine without the use of a frequency converter. The drive system is based on a hydrodynamic converter in combination with a superimposing planetary gear stage. The system converts the variable speed of the wind turbine rotor into a constant output speed for the generator. This highly dynamic control occurs in up to 20 milliseconds, enabling the deployment of synchronous generators which directly feed the power grid. The ability to dispense with a frequency converter results in a considerable reduction in weight. The system is highly reliable with an extremely low failure probability and excellent feed qualities to the electrical grid, based on its high frequency stability and ability to equalize load peaks."Over the past five years the HERMES AWARD has developed into an internationally coveted 'Oscar for engineers'; as a result, more than 70 superb product innovations were submitted for adjudication this year," stated Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster, Director and Chief Executive of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), during his laudatory speech at the opening ceremony of HANNOVER MESSE. He explained the jury's motivation for selecting WinDrive as follows: "Thanks to its worldwide impact on the media and on top decision-makers, the HERMES AWARD provides the winning product innovations with sufficient impetus to rapidly conquer international markets. This year's award-winning innovation is already blowing fresh wind into the sails of the fast-growing wind energy market." In her laudatory speech, German Minister for Education and Research Annette Schavan emphasized that the project had "come at the right time and covers the right topic. It is interdisciplinary as well as highly innovative, and yet the result is easy to understand. It is targeted at a growth market and can already be witnessed in direct application. It thus ideally embodies all of the objectives formulated by the federal government in its high-tech strategy." The Education Minister handed over the award in the presence of German President Horst Köhler, Korean Prime Minister HAN Seung-Soo and Lower Saxony's Minister-president Christian Wulff. Apart from prizewinner Voith Turbo Wind GmbH, the following companies were nominated for the HERMES ÁWARD: Bosch Rexroth AG, based in Elchingen; Compair Drucklufttechnik from Simmern/Hunsrück; Harting Electric from Espelkamp; and Thomas GmbH from Bremervörde (all locations within Germany).Both the award winner as well as the other nominated products and processes will be on display during HANNOVER MESSE 2009 (20 to 24 April) at the respective company stands. Detailed information on the five nominations for the HERMES AWARD 2009 as well as on the associated companies is also available at the innovations-focused special display entitled "techtransfer - Gateway2innovation" in Hall 2, stand D12. Learn More

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