19/jun/2017 - Maxwell

Global Wind Day: Strides In Ultracapacitor Energy Storage

Wind renewable energy has its own day to be center-stage. Global Wind Day, held annually on June 15, celebrates achievements in the wind industry, and there have been many in the past year.

The wind industry is one of the fastest growing industrial segments, employing 1.2 million people, and more homes and businesses are benefiting from wind’s emission-free electricity. Wind power has surpassed 500 gigawatts worldwide—a good sign that renewable energy is on a healthy upward climb toward a sustainable future. Wind turbines are reaching new heights and harnessing stronger wind resources. Just six months ago, the United States saw its first offshore wind farm start spinning its turbines to generate power for 17,000 homes in a community near Rhode Island. The Greek island of Tilos became the first Mediterranean island to be powered entirely by wind and solar energy.

Behind the scenes of many of these wind power giants are ultracapacitors, electrostatic energy storage devices that contribute to a turbine’s safe and reliable operation. On Global Wind Day, Maxwell Technologies celebrated the achievement of over 58,000 wind turbines that have Maxwell ultracapacitors installed for wind pitch control.

Also called supercapacitors, ultracapacitors provide a more robust, reliable alternative to battery-based systems in wind turbine electric pitch control. More wind farm asset owners are replacing batteries with ultracapacitor-based systems due to the ultracapacitors’ resilience in colder and hotter temperatures. Another advantage is ultracapacitor technology requires little to no maintenance compared to batteries, which present a variety of challenges due to battery lead and acid. Ultracapacitors have a lifespan which averages three times longer than batteries, significantly reducing maintenance and overall system costs for wind farms that strive to become more cost competitive. You can learn more about the benefits of ultracapacitors for wind turbines here.

If you like photography competitions, check out the link below for the winning entries for Global Wind Day’s photo contest held by WindEurope and Global Wind Energy Council. There were several stunning submissions for its three categories—Wind and Nature, Wind at Sea and Wind Works.

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