Hydraulic gearless transmissions for large wind turbines

Written by: Justin Cunningham | Published:

Edinburgh based Artemis Intelligent Power has been awarded £1million under Phase1 of the Low Carbon Energy Demonstration capital grants scheme to develop its Digital Displacement technology to replace the mechanical transmissions of wind turbines.

The technology will be initially demonstrated for a 1.5MW transmission but the Digital Displacement components developed will be directly transferable for multi-megawatt offshore deployment. Digital Displacement Hydraulic Transmission are gearless, making them lighter and lower cost than mechanical transmissions.

Digital Displacement uses different principles to off load unused capacity, in a manner which results in very low parasitic loss and because of the speed this is done, it can be controlled with a high bandwidth with good linearity and low hysteresis.

Waverley Cameron, chairman of Artemis Intelligent Power, said: "The Artemis Digital Displacement technology will provide cost effective solutions to some of the most challenging engineering problems facing the large scale deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal power generation."

Its Digital Displacement technology has been able to overcome many of the efficiency problems traditionally associated with hydraulics and was originally developed for use on cars as a hybrid system, storing braking energy as hydraulic pressure in an accumulator, which can then be used for acceleration. The system improved fuel efficiency by 40%.

Cameron added: "This kind of targeted support by Government enables small R&D companies like Artemis to develop the breakthrough technologies needed to bring Britain to the forefront of the low carbon revolution."

The scheme is specifically aimed at bringing forward the demonstration of new technology to support the earlier deployment of large-scale multi-MW wind turbines by 2020.

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