Led by Sheffield-based SME Magnomatics, the Compact High-Efficiency Generator (CHEG) project is an EU DemoWind-funded collaborative programme aimed at driving down costs and increasing generator efficiency in large offshore wind turbines.
The project will deliver a 500kW pseudo direct drive (PDD) generator based around Magnomatics’ innovative magnetic gear technology, which replaces the traditional turbine generator and gearbox with a single, magnetically-geared permanent magnet generator. As gearboxes are one of the most common sources of component failure in offshore wind, PDD technology could have significant advantages in terms of reliability and lower maintenance costs when scaled up to the size of current offshore wind turbines.
The Catapult’s research team has played a key role in the development, specification and concept model review of the generator, while our testing team are developing a rigorous programme to prove and demonstrate the prototype’s feasibility in our 3MW powertrain test facility. The project team has established a potential 2.9% reduction in the cost of energy through using the system – which, along with lower maintenance costs, makes the switch to PDD generators an attractive prospect.