WIND Electric Revolution (WINDER)

Lead Participant: Magnomatics Limited


This project is part of a plan to bring the manufacture of large generators for offshore wind to the UK. Magnomatics Pseudo Direct Drive (PDD(r)) combines a magnetic gear with a permanent magnet generator. The PDD is very efficient and very reliable with no meshing gear teeth. Independent analysis has shown this provides lower cost of energy.

The novel component in this technology is a pole piece rotor (PPR), a cylindrical structure comprising multiple axial steel pole pieces within a non-magnetic composite structure. In operation these pole pieces are subject to massive forces and complex cyclical loads. In previous demonstration units the construction methods used in the PPR were expensive and labour intensive. There are now several alternative concept designs for scaling up the technology but building and testing these at full scale would be very expensive. The PPR for a 15MW generator will be approximately 9m diameter. In this project new instrumentation will be installed in the 500kW CHEG generator and then extensively dynamometer tested to better understand the behaviour of the PPR under wind turbine loads and cycles. The testing carried out at the ORE Catapult will capitalize on previous testing carried out there during the Demo Wind project.

Magnomatics will then develop sophisticated computer-based modelling software which can then be used to design robust PPRs including dynamic modelling of the pole piece loads to predict wear and possible erosion of the composite structure. These methods will be validated using the new test data from the ORE Catapult. A virtual product validation will be performed on concept designs. ensuring the PPR achieves the expected product lifetime of 25+ years. Wind turbine generator unit volumes could reach 800 units per annum therefore it would be essential to manufacture the PPR cost effectively. The AMRC, Sheffield, are providing input and support to Design for Manufacture of the PPR to achieve this.

Proving this technology provides a credible route to UK construction of direct drive generators for offshore wind leading to annual sales of £1.2bn and dramatically increasing the proportion of UK content in offshore wind farms. This aligns perfectly with UK Industrial Strategy for PEMD and the Offshore Wind Sector deal. The technology can also apply to rail, marine propulsion and industrial drives, improving efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Magnomatics Limited, Sheffield, UNITED KINGDOM £351,408 £ 245,986


Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult £117,474 £ 117,474


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