Solar, Wind Power

Xantrex Makes Commercial Wind Power Strides

Follow the wiring from many solar PV panels put up in the last decade in North America and you’re bound to find a Xantrex inverter. Soon, a look deep inside a new line of multi-MW wind turbines will reveal Xantrex components at work generating renewable energy from the wind as well.

This week, the Canada-based company announced a deal to supply wind converters for California-based Clipper Windpower Technology’s new line of 2.5 MW “Liberty” wind turbines. “This is the largest capacity wind converter that Xantrex has produced,” said Mossadiq S. Umedaly, Xantrex’s Chairman. “It converts variable power from the turbine’s generators into high-quality AC power for the utility grid, meeting challenging new guidelines established earlier this year by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for grid-fault ride-through capability.” Revealed earlier this year at the wind power industry’s national trade show in Colorado, Clipper’s new turbines continue a tradition of unique design. The company’s wind turbines are noteworthy in that their massive blades turn not one, but a series of four smaller generators. This approach is intended to reduce the load on the drive train of the turbine and assure redundancy in the event that a generator would fail. Typical wind turbines have one large generator. Each generator unit in the new Clipper machine is also small enough to be replaced using the nacalle’s built-in crane. Xantrex follows Clipper’s lead by providing four 625 kW converter modules to be connected to each generator to match the turbine’s full output of 2.5 MW. Months of testing the converters at the NREL lab in Colorado, followed by prototype testing in Wyoming verified that the wind units are technologically capable of meeting the demands Clipper has planned for commercial power generation. Xantrex’s Umedaly said the contracts would amount to approximately $10 million over the next two years.