According to Maxwell Technologies, a European producer of wind energy systems has placed a purchase order for 3 million of Maxwell’s BOOSTCAP “D cell” ultracapacitors to provide backup power for wind turbine blade pitch systems. Alain Riedo, senior vice president and general manager of Maxwell’s Swiss subsidiary, Maxwell Technologies SA, noted that the order is double the quantity of the company’s previous largest D cell order in February, which was also for a wind energy application.
The ultracapacitors are used for backup energy storage and power delivery in wind turbines ranging in output up to 2.5 MW. Each of the turbines’ three blades has an independent braking and pitch adjustment mechanism incorporating a bank of 200 to 700 BOOSTCAP cells. These cells provide backup power to ensure continuous operation in the event of a power failure.
Further Wind Energy Reading:
Industry sources reported that approximately 11,400 MW of new wind energy generation capacity was installed in 2005, an increase of more than 40% from 2004. The worldwide installed base now stands at approximately 60,000 MW, and industry sources estimate the value of the wind energy market is expected to exceed $130 billion over the next five years. Riedo noted that megawatt-class installations are expected to account for an increasing share of new capacity.