November 1, 2013 | Engineering + Technology, Wind Plant Optimization
I drive by a single white wind turbine nearly every day. Backdropped by rolling farm fields and the jagged summit of Mount Mansfield to the east, it is a dramatic sight—especially when a storm is approaching and the turbine is bright against heavy, hard metal clouds. I like to gauge the weather by watching its steady blades.
Recently, I learned that the turbine’s nacelle is host to two Renewable NRG Systems IceFree Hybrid® XT turbine control sensors. These sensors communicate wind speed and directional data to the turbine, which subsequently adjusts its position to maximize power production. As for the turbine itself, another Vermont-based company engineers it: Northern Power Systems.
Northern Power Systems uses a patented permanent magnet/direct drive technology to design wind turbines with fewer moving parts. By minimizing wearing parts in the load path and maximizing efficiency over the full range of operating conditions, the manufacturer aims to enhance energy production, reduce maintenance, and increase reliability.
To date, Northern Power Systems has shipped more than 300 of its NPS™ 60 and NPS™ 100 wind turbines with Hybrid XT sensors. According to Chris McKay, Northern Power Systems' director of product management, “Turbine control sensors are a critical component of a wind turbine. They tell the turbine where to turn, when to power on, and when to shut down. Sensors can mean the difference between a well-performing turbine and a damaged one.”
Do you drive by wind farms or distributed wind turbines during your daily commute? Let us know in the comment section.
Northern Power Systems
Renewable NRG Systems IceFree Hybrid XT turbine control sensors