American Superconductor Launch its Proprietary Power Converter Developed for Wind Power Applications

American Superconductor Corporation , a leading energy technologies company, announced today at HUSUM WindEnergy 2008 the launch of its proprietary PowerModule PM3000W power converter, a fully programmable, flexible and modular power converter developed specifically for wind power applications.

This highly scalable solution is designed for rapid integration into a wide range of wind turbines with power ratings from 750 kilowatts (kW) – the basic PM3000W building block – up to 6 megawatts (MW). AMSC developed the PM3000W converter based on its core capabilities in power electronics hardware and software, the design and licensing of wind turbines, knowledge gained in the deployment of thousands of PowerModule PM1000 converters in wind turbines, and the company’s experience connecting wind farms to power grids utilizing its proprietary D-VAR® solution.

AMSC’s PowerModule converters are power dense, scalable and programmable, allowing them to be readily customized for many electrical applications. Wind-specific PM3000W converters incorporate algorithms and external communication protocols to enable universal generator connectivity. The product has successfully passed extensive factory testing and rigorous field testing in operating wind farms, and the company has already booked pre-launch orders for more than 3,300 PM3000W converters from customers in Canada (AAER Inc.), China (Sinovel Wind, CSR-ZELRI and Dongfang Steam Turbine Works), Germany (Fuhrländer AG) and India (Ghodawat Industries). AMSC shipped the first PM3000W converters to customers in September 2008.

“Our PM3000W converter was developed utilizing AMSC’s unique combination of world-class wind turbine design and engineering expertise, wind turbine power electronics and wind farm-to-power grid interconnection solutions,” said Timothy Poor, AMSC's Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development. “The PM3000W is the world’s first power converter building block developed specifically for bridging the needs of both wind turbine generators and grid connection. This unique converter is a fully programmable, flexible and modular power converter platform that provides universal generator connectivity, and can be utilized within virtually any megawatt-class wind turbine. This revolutionary solution has also been designed to withstand the severe changes in climate and poor power grid conditions that are often encountered at remote wind farms.”

The PM3000W converter utilizes state-of-the-art thermally and mechanically enhanced Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs) and features wind power specific controls and interfaces, low voltage ride through (LVRT) support, ground fault protection and mono-frame construction with slide mounts - offering unmatched versatility. Rated at 750 kW, the PM3000W converter’s compact design yields a power density of up to 130 W/in.³ (7.9 W/cm³). In addition, multiple PM3000W power converters can be configured in parallel to create higher power-rated converter systems up to 6MW for all types of wind generators.
PM3000W converters incorporate advanced grid compatibility controls. This enables its use with asynchronous, synchronous, induction and permanent magnet generators in wind turbines running at either 50 Hz or 60 Hz. AMSC offers PM3000W converters as a stand-alone product. Through its AMSC Windtec™ subsidiary, AMSC also provides customized wind turbine electrical systems and core electrical components, which include the PM3000W converter, pitch and yaw controls and SCADA systems.

AMSC introduced its PowerModule converter technology in 2000 and thousands of the systems have been purchased by customers worldwide for use in a wide variety of applications including wind turbines, hydro-electric, energy storage, fuel cell, marine diesel-electric, electric vehicle, utility-grade voltage regulation and military pulsed-power systems.

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