Alternative Energy

Offshore Winder project funding secured by Magnomatics

21st January 2021
Alex Lynn

Magnomatics, the UK based specialist in magnetic gear technology, has announced that the recent grant funding of £363,460 secured has allowed the company to work on the Winder project. The project will de-risk technology required for the manufacture of large generators for offshore wind to the UK. 

As part of the project, new instrumentation, including Magnomatics’ Pseudo Direct Drive (PDD), has been installed in the 500kW CHEG generator and extensive dynamometer testing is due to be undertaken by ORE Catapult between January and March 2021. The testing aims to create a better understanding of the behaviour of the Pole Piece Rotor (PPR) under wind turbine loads and cycles.

The PPR is a cylindrical structure comprising multiple axial steel pole pieces within a non-magnetic composite structure. In operation these pole pieces are subject to massive forces and complex cyclical loads. The ORE Catapult testing will capitalise on the previous testing carried out during the Demo Wind project.

On completion of the testing, Magnomatics will develop sophisticated computer-based modelling software to aid the design of robust PPRs including dynamic modelling of the pole piece loads to predict wear and possible erosion of the composite structure. These methods will be validated using the test data from ORE Catapult.

Proving this technology provides a credible route to UK construction of direct drive generators for offshore wind, leading to annual sales of £1.2bn and dramatically increasing the proportion of UK content in offshore wind farms. The technology can also apply to rail, marine propulsion and industrial drives, improving efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions.

Magnomatics has already designed and manufactured magnetic gear technology for multiple applications worldwide. Their Pseudo Direct Drive (PDD) is a key component in the efficient production of wind generated energy thanks to its ability to achieve a step-change in continuous torque density compared to equivalent gear systems and it’s extremely reliable characteristics thanks to the no meshing of gear teeth.

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