Northern Power Systems

NPS 2.3: More Power

For the wind farm operator, more power means more revenue.

Using breakthrough advances in permanent magnet (PM) generator and power electronics technology, the Northern Power® 2.3 represents the next generation in wind turbine technology. It is based on a vastly simplified architecture that utilizes a unique combination of permanent magnet generators and advanced direct-drive design. 

The Northern Power 2.3 drivetrain design eliminates the need for a high torque gearbox, greatly simplifying the design while removing a major area of failure in competing wind turbines. The turbine blade rotor is connected directly to the slow-speed PM generator rotor, with no separate gearbox, main shaft, bearing set, or couplings required. This simple design transmits operating loads more directly to the tower, with a minimum number of parts in the load path. 

Northern Power’s PM generator technology eliminates the need for rotor field windings, a field excitation system, and field circuit slip rings. The elimination of field circuit losses results in a higher overall turbine efficiency, especially at partial load operation.  

The generator output is connected to the grid through Northern Power’s award-winning FlexPhase™ full power converter. The FlexPhase full power converter’s innovative design offers high efficiency, extremely high output power quality, low generator stress, and advanced grid support and ride-through capabilities. The power converter, matched and optimized for operation with the low speed generator, uses rack-out modules for fast and easy service.

Technology Highlights

Advanced Sectional Permanent Magnet Generator: Our proprietary low speed permanent magnet (PM) generator is optimized for efficient energy capture with a higher power curve. Unlike other generator types, PM generators do not need to be energized to produce electricity, which allows for more net energy production.

  • 20% less weight of magnet materials
  • 75% fewer stator coil assemblies
  • Higher power density
  • Easier to fabricate and assemble

Direct Drive (DD): Wind energy is converted directly into electricity with no inertial and mechanical friction losses associated with gearboxes.

  • No gearbox

Full Power Conversion: Our proprietary full power converter, in combination with our PM generator, optimizes overall power train performance. This optimized system results in more
power delivered onto the grid.

  • Software-enabled advanced topology
  • 40% fewer IGBTs
  • 50% fewer capacitors
  • Higher Power Curve

Up-Tower Electrical Architecture: Our full power converter and main transformer are
located up-tower. Electricity is converted to medium voltage closer to the point of generation, minimizing long power cable losses between components. This layout results in increased efficiency and lower electrical losses, yielding more revenue-generating power.

  • Redundant power paths
  • Sectional/Modular = field replaceable + higher reliability
  • 2006 American Wind Energy Association Technology Award
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