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HS Harbon and Sons, an electrical engineering company based in Doncaster and a new entrant to the wind-turbine market, has standardised on AC drives from Control Techniques thanks to their reliability and versatility.

The company recently went into partnership with local businessman Richard Crowe to set up Harbon Wind Turbines with a view to designing an advanced-concept turbine.

The recently formed company has now created and tested the 60kW HWT60 variable-speed wind turbine and has already taken its first orders for the model. According to Dave Harbon, technical director, the HWT60 optimises blade power output by changing rotor speed to reflect changing wind conditions.

Each turbine is fitted with four AC drives from Control Techniques: two small 0.5kW Unidrive SP AC drives are fitted at the top of the tower, one controlling yaw and the other controlling the hydraulics for the braking system and also acting as an interface to transmit inputs on wind speed, temperature, rotor shaft revolutions per minute and vibration to the main drive; while two 75kW Unidrive SP drives at the base of the tower, working in regenerative mode, feed AC power back to the grid.

Key benefits of product application

  • Drives from Control Techniques give Harbon Wind Turbines the precise control that it needs, thanks to their efficiency, programming capability and communication features.
  • Research carried out by Harbon has shown that the efficiency of the turbine is significantly improved by the ability to change the rotor speed.
  • The high-efficiency drives are said to be ‘frugal’ on start-up, using about the same power consumption as an electric kettle.
  • Throughout the wind-turbine development, Control Techniques has been supportive — writing operational software and adding safety features such as automatic braking.
  • The intelligence of the drives has eliminated the need for additional programmable logic controllers (PLCs), making design very straightforward as well as keeping costs down.

Control Techniques

Control Techniques, an Emerson Industrial Automation company, is a world leader in the design, production and marketing of electronic variable speed drives for the control of electric motors. Our strategy is to concentrate on delivering drives and servo products that enhance the productivity of our customers’ machines and processes.

We operate through a global network of drive and application centres that both distribute product and add value by building our drive products into custom designed systems and by offering the highest levels of customer service.

Our Control Techniques drive centres also provide us with invaluable feedback and market intelligence so that we can further improve our products and service. This customer focused strategy will enable us to continue to grow profitably.

Our competitive edge is based on our unique focus on drives, our strength in research and development, our investment low-cost manufacturing and an effective worldwide marketing strategy.

Emerson Industrial Automation, a business of Emerson, is a global technology provider that enables productivity, efficiency and quality gains for customers across a spectrum of industries. Our products include alternators, electric motors and drives, electrical distribution devices and mechanical power transmission, fluid automation and ultrasonic joining solutions. Visit our website for more details.

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