The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Northern Power, a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp., a small business innovation research grant of $750,000 to continue to develop modular construction technologies necessary to build 5 MW to 8 MW wind turbines.
With the development of larger wind turbines, blade lengths of 60 meters or greater and tower heads often weighing more than 450 tons, shipping, installing and maintaining larger turbines are becoming a challenge.
This is why the contract covers manufacturing assembly techniques to improve the life span of large-scale wind turbines – both on and offshore. According to the company, the project's emphasis on modular designs should allow for easier transportation, less weight per component, partial power capabilities and more flexibility in providing on-site service.
‘Over the last several years, our wind experts have focused on developing large-scale, direct drive wind turbine generator and power converter systems to address the cost, utility interconnection and equipment implementation issues that are prominent in the multi-megawatt wind market today,’ says Darren Jamison, Northern Power's president. ‘We look forward to completing those development efforts and putting the fruits of those labors to work, helping to further the cause of technologically advanced, renewable wind energy solutions.’