ABB drives QR5 wind turbine

  • August 03, 2010
  • ABB
  • Case Study
August 3, 2010 --Designed and manufactured by Quietrevolution of the U.K., the QR5 wind turbine has already won eight awards and nominations as well as the attention of the world media, including the BBC, CNN, Financial Times and MSNBC. The QR5 is a vertical axis wind turbine designed specifically to harness wind energy in environments near people and buildings, where changes in wind speed and direction can be rapid and unpredictable. The helical (twisted) design is highly compact and, unlike conventional wind turbines, suitable for installation on rooftops or in open space alongside buildings. It is virtually silent and vibration-free, and with minimal moving parts requires little maintenance. A typical installation can produce up to 7,500 kilowatt-hours of electric power a year, which is enough to meet the electricity requirements of a small office of 10 people. To date, around 100 QR5 turbines have been sold to retailers, real estate developers, public authorities, schools, universities and colleges in the U.K. and Europe. The QR5 is only five meters high and three meters in diameter. The turbine turns a direct drive permanent magnet generator, which is linked to an ABB regenerative drive to provide energy conversion and regenerate power back into the grid. quietrevolution approached ABB at an early stage of product development for advice and guidance on an electrical solution for this potentially revolutionary wind turbine. ABB conducted extensive tests in the U.K. and Finland, helped ensure that the turbines comply with the requirements of grid operators and government legislation, and proposed an appropriate permanent magnet generator. A standard ABB industrial regenerative drive enables the turbine to generate the maximum amount of energy at all times and in rapidly changing wind speeds. “The drive allows us to switch seamlessly from regeneration to drawing power, as well as giving accurate speed control,” says Richard Cochrane, quietrevolutions’s founder and chief technology officer. “This produces the maximum amount of energy from gusty and turbulent winds, which are prevalent in built-up environments.” One of the key benefits for quietrevolution is that the drive comes in a complete, factory-tested package, ready for installation and with everything required for the application – software and hardware - inside the drive.“Another useful feature of the ABB drive are the simple communications protocols, which are a cost-effective way to control and report on the performance of the system via our web interface,” says Cochrane. “ABB’s Direct Torque Control technology is crucial to the operation of the turbine. It allows us to effectively vary the rotor speed to optimize performance at any given wind speed.” ABB is the world’s leading supplier of power and automation equipment and solutions for the wind power industry, and is the market and technology leader in low- and medium-voltage AC and DC drives. ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 117,000 people. Learn More

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