ABB Drive System in UK Tidal Turbines R&D
The world’s first drive train test facility for tidal turbines and marine renewable technologies at the UK’s National Renewable Energy Centre (NAREC) is powered by a state-of-the-art ABB drive system.
The $20 million facility is part of the UK’s National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) in the north of England. Narec is a government-backed center for researching, developing and testing renewable energy and low carbon power generation technologies such as wind, solar, tidal and wave.
At the heart of the Nautilus test facility is a state-of-the-art ABB drive system that powers and speed-controls the drive train and enables it to operate with precision and energy efficiency. The solution comprises a broad range of ABB technologies - 3.2 megawatt water-cooled motor, an ACS (OCI1.BE) 6000 medium-voltage variable speed drive, medium- and low-voltage switchgear, distribution transformers, and a DriveMonitor™ monitoring and diagnostic system for the medium-voltage drive.
ABB was selected by Narec for its ability to design and deliver a complete solution, including portable housing for the drives, switchgear and transformers.
“We have been really pleased with ABB’s performance,” says Tony Quinn. “Projects of this nature are rare; they are one-off in terms of scale and technicalities. It takes a very special team to pull together and overcome the inevitable hurdles.
“ABB, with its extensive knowledge of test facilities and one-off projects, provided an exceptional project management team: they were positive, nimble and reactive. As operations director, my job is to get involved when things go wrong. I did not have to get involved with ABB at all.”