High-Performance, Low-Cost Wind Power Applications

Boulder Wind Power's Modular Full Scale Power Converters Set New Precedent

January 23, 2013
Manufacturing Group

Officials for Colorado-based Boulder Wind Power (BWP) announce that the latest test results incorporating its proprietary power converter technology at full scale demonstrated an unmatched level of power quality for wind power applications. BWP's converter design drastically reduces damaging voltage stresses while improving the quality of the voltage and current waveforms at competitive industry costs. This unmatched level of performance in the power conversion system allows BWP to fully leverage the benefits of its breakthrough air core generator design.

"Performance improvements in the converter system have a direct impact on the generator design requirements -- from the insulation system requirements, to the efficiency and cooling system requirements, to the grade of magnetics," explains BWP's vice president of Engineering Jim Smith. "Our innovative power conversion brings a new level of value to the wind industry as it increases system performance to meet the requirements of our air core generator and reduces system cost."

Smith also notes the design was designed to be serviceable in the field, allowing simple and easy access to the equipment that commonly requires more frequent service. The system is also modular and highly reconfigurable, enabling the same basic hardware and software to serve a variety of wind turbine power ratings. These features reduce spare parts inventory requirements and enable kitting of upgrades that extend the life of the units as the suppliers revise their offerings to keep pace with technology developments in their fields. All of these features drive the cost of ownership down, which was the primary design objective.

BWP's principal power systems engineer, Swarnab Banerjee adds, "The BWP converter system utilizes a simple and cost-effective air-cooling concept that further improves system efficiency, and achieves this in a smaller and lighter package compared to the state-of-the-art liquid-cooled concepts that have become popular for wind power applications. This design does more with less."