January 2010: R2Controls and Windtest Cooperation Agreement
What is the agreement?
R2Controls and Windtest are cooperating to provide technology, know-how, and engineering involving industrial scale wind power for the US Electrical Grid. Windtest started business in Germany in 1996 and has been involved in more than 2,500 separate wind projects worldwide. Windtest currently manages testing at the largest land based wind test system in the world at their headquarters in Grevenbroich, Germany. Windtest is involved in research, testing, standards, and engineering evaluations that help to make large scale wind projects technically and financially successful. Windtest has expertise in the measurements used for turbine testing, site assessments, structural loads, and electrical power quality. Experience with multiple projects from conception through years of operation, has uniquely qualified Windtest to provide valuable engineering services for turbine and subsystem manufacturers, investors, operators, and wind farm developers. Windtest is accredited according to IEC 17025, which is the highest quality certification that can be achieved in this field world wide. R2Controls will provide Windtest with a US based sales and engineering representative to service the growing US wind business.
Why is R2Controls working with Windtest?
What kinds of problems can R2Controls and Windtest help to solve?
- In a nutshell it is due to market opportunity and a match with R2Controls technical background.
- Wind has the best return on investment for our current renewable energy options, better than PV or Solar Thermal Electric, and it is much better developed than clean coal technology (carbon sequestering).
- The USA goal of 20% of all US power from wind by 2030 is possible and requires engineering to make it work smoothly and reliability (Denmark has 20% today, Germany 7% and both are still growing)
- The US grid(s) requires few changes to accommodate initial growth to 10% wind power, and only moderate upgrades after that. SmartGrid is a key part of this upgrading and new transmission upgrades will insure that wind can grow to 20% and beyond.
- Concerns about grid stability have resulted in standards and grid codes. New designs for the wind generators and their control systems are pushing the technology toward direct drive generators. (No gearbox). Windtest is expert at testing the evolving designs.
- R2Controls has experience with measuring instruments for rotating equipment and industrial power generation systems. Windtest has experience with wind instruments and wind engineering.
- Industry trends are changing the playing field; US fossil fuel demand is falling, The Valero Delaware City Refinery (an R2Controls client) closed, and there is a renewed focus to rebuild the transportation and electric power infrastructure with the goals of energy security and environmental protection.
- Once preliminary work is done, a Wind Turbine can be constructed in about a month, a Nuclear plant takes nearly 10 years
- The USA has enough wind to supply our entire country. South Dakota alone could supply 25% of the US if we had the transmission lines to carry the power.
- Texas is the #1 wind energy state in the US and Texans like to do things in a big way. Wind power is getting Super-sized with development of a new class of turbines in the 5MW to 15MW range. Blade sizes of nearly 100 meters long are in the design stage right now. American ingenuity and engineering talent are essential to make this work.
- With new emerging US and International standards (windtest participates in several standards committees) and new Wind power equipment suited to the American Power Grid many engineering challenges are still ahead.
- Wind projects are not sited as well as they could be.
- Wind project mechanical, electrical, and planning failures are too high.
- Wind life-cycle costs are too high.
- Wind power does not meet local grid codes.
- Wind equipment is producing too much noise or not meeting local requirements.
- Wind turbines and wind farms are not operated as efficiently as they could be.
- The bottom line, Wind investors are not getting as high a return as they could if these problems are solved
You can find more information using the links below
Link to R2Controls Wind Energy
Link to Windtest site