Renewable Energy breakthrough for NUI Galway Researchers

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The Power Electronics Research Centre at NUI Galway has developed emergency power supplies for North Sea Wind Turbines. Over recent years' researchers at the Power Electronic Research Centre (PERC) in NUI Galway developed novel battery charging and monitoring principles with engineers from Convertec Limited in Wexford, under the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Programme. The newly developed charging regime has been validated and implemented into emergency backup systems for pitch control systems for wind turbines. The new developments play a distinct role in improving the safe and reliable operation of wind turbines in the North Sea. Professor Ger Hurley, PERC Director in the Department of Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway explained: "The work in Galway came to the attention of GE Research in Schenectady New York and subsequently a partnership between GE, PERC and Convertec developed the new generation of battery chargers for wind turbines. Initial tests were carried out in Canada and now in the North Sea. This technology is relevant to Wind Farms in Ireland and will lead to more reliable supplies" The underlying basic physical and electrical principles for the development of this backup power supply for wind turbine will be presented at a lecture on Tuesday. 30 September in NUI Galway by Professor Werner Wölfle, who has been Managing Director and head of the design group of Convertec Ltd. in Ireland since 1989. Convertec develops high reliability power converters for industrial applications and renewable energy systems. The aim of the Power Electronics Research Centre at NUI Galway is to foster links with industry by transferring technology from a strong research base in the University to the wider community. The Centre is now involved in a number of areas of research activities: renewable energy systems, automotive electronics; sensor technology; battery management, and power harvesting. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, 30 September at 3.30 pm in the Siobhán McKenna Lecture Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. The lecture will be followed by a reception. Places are limited and must be booked in advance. Please contact Sara Armstrong at 091-493270 or email sarmstrong@nuigalway.ie
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