British company, VertAx Wind, and the University of Edinburgh, have signed the first commercial licensing agreement for the C-Gen Permanent Magnet Generator developed at the University.
The worldwide agreement enables VertAx to build the technology into its multi-megawatt vertical axis wind turbine currently under development.
Markus Mueller, Professor of Electrical Generation Systems at the University of Edinburgh,said, “I’m very pleased VertAx has chosen the C-Gen technology. The partnership with VertAx will enable further advancement of the technology leading to full commercialisztion.”
The C-Gen machine is a modular, permanent magnet, ring generator, in which the rotors core material is C shaped with magnets mounted on the limbs of the C and the coils of the stator arranged in a disk that passes between the C’s magnets. It has no iron in its windings; this greatly reduces difficulty in assembly (as there is no attractive force between stator and rotor) and enables the use of an increased air-gap size.
Its development started in 2005 under the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept Program, and it has since been demonstrated at various scales up to 1MW. The design has proven highly scalable, and is suitable for tidal and wave energy applications as well as wind.
VertAx, based in Guildford, Surrey, was established in 2007. Its vertical axis wind turbine design contrasts with the horizontal axis turbines that currently dominate wind power globally. The primary goal driving the technology development was to provide a stepped reduction in the cost of electrical power generation from off-shore wind.
The overall design includes a permanently installed crane in order to facilitate changing of the blades and rotor arms at any time during the operational life of the wind turbine, including at the expiry of their 20 year design life. This hydraulic arm will be housed in the 'Top-Hat' section of the structure that supports the helipad at the very top of the tower.
VertAx chairman Peter Hunter, said, “This allows us to take the next step as we develop our turbine to compete in the expanding offshore market. The C-Gen concept is the right generator design for our large-scale vertical axis turbine, and we look forward to successful collaboration and further development of this advanced permanent magnet generator.”