Sentec breezes into wind sector with new turbine control system

Sentec, the smart metering technology specialist and product development company from Cambridge (England), has collaborated with another business from the same city, Wind Technologies Ltd, to create a bespoke control system for wind turbines. The first test site is now in-situ in the city.

Sentec has adapted an operation critical motor drive that enables Wind Technologies’ novel generator design to be manufactured cost-effectively and also be retrofitted on to existing turbine nacelles.

Wind Technologies needed a control system that was not achievable with existing motor drives due to the complex algorithm needed in its core brushless doubly fed generator design. To combat this problem, Sentec integrated an off the shelf motor drive with a high efficiency insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) module to enable bi-directional power flow between the grid and control winding. Sentec worked with Wind Technologies to integrate the adapted drive into its current system to create the first testing hardware.

“We used Sentec’s consultancy team to design bespoke power electronics for our innovative brushless wind turbine. The resulting electronics enable connection to the power grid, and the high speed response required for the control algorithms,” explained Dr Ehsan Abdi, Wind Technologies Ltd CEO. “We are delighted with the results and would have no hesitation in choosing Sentec for future projects.”

The test unit is currently located at Madingley Road, Cambridge and is proving vital for research and development.

Sentec provides product development and innovation that meets the need for intelligent products in the energy and water markets. It develops and licences technology in the utility sector with a particular focus on smart metering and smart grids globally. It also offers product development consulting in a wider range of industries and challenges including clean technologies, renewable energy, appliances, industrial and automotive. Much of its work is confidential, but partners include Sensus Metering, NCR and Prodrive.

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