ABB unveils DFIG for mid-size wind

Power technology giant ABB has unveiled a new double-fed induction generator (DFIG) for mid-size onshore wind turbines.

The concept, developed for 3MW-plus machines, features a beefed up slip-ring construction to boost reliability and cut maintenance costs.

"We believe DFIGs are long-runners as they are a proven technology - even as onshore turbines continue to get bigger," ABB head of wind power Alfredo Parres tells Recharge.

"We felt the industry needed a new design that fits with this size of turbine - which we see as the main play for onshore markets."

Testing of the new DFIG has demonstrated efficiencies of 97%.

Parres points out that ABB continues to be "technology agnostic" for offshore turbines, having supplied DFIGs and permanent magnet generators to 50% of the current global fleet.

"Medium-speed [drive train] technology we like very much," he says. "We don't believe in pushing one [generator] technology over another and we will definitely be investing across the range."

ABB has also launched a new low voltage full power converter for turbines with nameplate capacities up to 8MW.

"These new generation components will reach levels of availability, reliability and energy efficiency for wind turbines never know before," states Parres.