American Technology Powers Danish Wind Farm

A California-based company scored a major coup when its technology was selected to power the world’s largest off-shore wind farm at Horn’s Rev, a reef located in the North Sea about 15 miles off the west coast of Denmark.

Alameda, California – August 11, 2003 [] Wind River Systems, founded in 1981 and headquartered in Alameda in the San Francisco Bay area, developed the embedded software used to build the control systems of the eighty 350-foot high wind turbines for Elsam, the Danish energy producer in control of the wind farm. The company, which also has an office in Sunnyvale, California, worked on every aspect of the project’s various regulation, monitoring, data collection and control tasks “to insure increased technological efficiencies and guaranteed reliability,” said Jerry Fiddler, chairman and co-founder of Wind River Systems. “Wind is one of the world’s most promising non-polluting renewable energy sources,” said Fiddler. “Reducing the drain on depleting fossil fuels and pollution is a global concern. The world’s capacity to generate energy from the wind has tripled over the last year; and Denmark is at the forefront of revolutionizing how wind power is produced, establishing itself as a proving ground for the greatest innovations in industrial technology.” The Horns Rev wind farm is expected to produce 600 million kilowatt-hours of electricity yearly. Denmark relies on wind for a full 16 percent of its power, making it one of the world’s leading proponents of electricity generation. Denmark has set the goal of using wind turbines to generate 4000 MW of electricity per year by 2030. Wind River technology monitors and controls each wind turbine, which is managed in real-time via an IP network. Each turbine operates as an autonomous power plant and contains five microprocessors. The 80 wind turbines are also networked to each other and a central control station, where energy production from each wind turbine is self-regulated. “Denmark will rely on Horns Rev to produce almost two percent of its annual power consumption,” said Jens Bonefeld, project manager for Horns Rev at Elsam. “People will benefit from being able to switch on that power daily, day or night. We needed a robust wind turbine control system built that ensured high availability and going offshore with wind farming made this a greater challenge. The use of Wind River’s technology at the heart of the operation at Horns Rev has been key to ensuring that the wind farm proves itself to be a reliable power source.”
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