Converteam UK has been awarded a GBP328 000 ($520 800) grant from Scottish Enterprise to develop a DC power converter for offshore wind farms.
The company says DC converters are a key component for the efficient export of DC power from each offshore wind turbine tower. Expected to be operational by mid-2012 the development will be supported by Converteam’s existing manufacturing plant based in Glasgow in order to provide project support, design for manufacture expertise, sourcing, manufacturing and test facilities prior to site trials.
In a statement, Converteam said its “fully DC architecture”, known as ProWind-DC, is expected to reduce total cost of ownership of offshore wind power generation and distribution by up to 20 per cent. Such gains will be realized over the lifecycle of a   typical offshore wind farm through reductions in initial capital expenditure, and increased system reliability and need to be coupled with the upside derived from higher energy capture due to the higher efficiency.
Derek Grieve, Converteam UK’s director of technology said: “An offshore wind installation that generates and then transmits DC energy to shore is much more efficient and cost effective than one which is based on AC. We believe that a fully DC architecture will relieve this industry of many of the constraints that it faces today – offshore wind energy is about to enter its most productive phase so far.”
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