‘World’s largest’ direct-drive PMG for wind turbines

Alstom and Converteam are collaborating to install what they claim is the world’s largest direct-drive permanent magnet generator (PMG) in a wind turbine.

As part of the joint effort, Converteam will equip Alstom’s two 6MW offshore wind-turbine prototypes with its Advanced High Density (AHD) direct-drive PMG that will be installed onshore and offshore in Europe during winter 2011 and in 2012.

Converteam delivered its first PMGs for 5MW wind turbines in 2004 and its first high-power (rated 3.7MW) direct-drive PMG has been in operation since 2008.

Pierre Bastid, chief executive officer at Converteam, said: ’The generator will have the largest torque of any PMG built to date, and with this project we are making a big step in commercialising very large direct-drive wind generators. Alstom’s turbine will be one of the largest direct-drive wind turbines in the wind offshore market, and the largest to feature a direct-drive PMG.’

Alstom’s turbine has been developed for the wind conditions encountered in most offshore locations in Europe, the US and the rest of the world. Two prototypes will be installed in 2011 and 2012, a pre-series in 2013 (the final roll-out step before full commercialisation), and series production in 2014.

Other key features of the turbine include its very large rotor diameter — using the world’s longest turbine blades jointly developed with LM Wind Power — and 6MW power output.

In January, Alstom and EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF-EN) announced that, using this turbine, they would bid jointly for projects under a recently launched French offshore wind tender.