Boulder Wind Power (BWP) and Cobham Technical Services are collaborating on the development of a new permanent-magnet direct-drive generator.
In support of the initial engineering studies conducted in early 2010, BWP says it chose to use the three-dimensional version of the Opera electromagnetic simulator from Cobham Technical Services' Vector Fields Software range.
While many wind turbine designers employ two-dimensional simulation for the main components in a generator – and only use three-dimensional simulation for elements such as the end turns on windings – BWP's designers must use full 3D simulation at every stage, in order to model the generator's architecture as accurately as possible, the company explains.
Unlike conventional permanent-magnet generators, the air-core stator in the BWP design does not use electrical steel laminations wound with conductors, and contains no ferromagnetic materials, according to the company.
BWP's generators will be available for testing in prototype turbines in 2013, with full commercial availability expected in 2014.