05/jun/2017 - Maxwell

Ultracapacitors In Wind Turbines: An Optimal Solution For Performance

At the recent American Wind Energy Association Windpower conference and exhibition in Anaheim, California, Maxwell Technologies exhibited ultracapacitor modules for emergency wind pitch control. Wind asset operators have decades of experience with battery-based wind pitch systems and the multiple challenges they present in terms of lifetime, replacements, and downtime due to maintenance hours.

Wind farm operators are increasingly turning to ultracapacitors for this application. Unlike batteries, ultracapacitors are durable in wide temperature ranges, provide many more charge/discharge cycles, and need little to no maintenance due to the rugged nature of electrostatic energy storage versus the maintenance needed for battery systems that contain lead and acid.

Operators understand that to maximize energy generation, O&M costs must be reduced significantly. All components in a wind turbine must work reliably, but a turbine’s wind pitch system is a critical component for optimum blade pitch control under adverse wind conditions. Maxwell has been actively engaged in designing ultracapacitor-based energy storage solutions for emergency wind pitch control to help reduce O&M costs, increase system reliability and turbine uptime. The poster below gives an introduction to ultracapacitor technology for emergency electric wind pitch control and the advantages of ultracapacitors over batteries in this application.

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