By: Paul Dvorak
VertAx Wind Ltd and the University of Edinburgh have signed the first commercial licensing agreement for the C-Gen Permanent Magnet Generator developed at the University.
C-Gen is an air-cored, lightweight, “no cogging” design. Its development started in 2005 under the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept Programme, and it has since been demonstrated at various scales up to 1 MW. The design has proven highly scalable, and is suitable for tidal and wave energy applications as well as wind. The weight of wind turbine generators is a significant issue because weight translates to costs. The structural weight of a direct-drive generator, for example, can exceed 80% of the total weight on the tower.
The worldwide agreement enables VertAx to build the technology into its multi-megawatt vertical axis wind turbine currently under development.
VertAx Chairman Peter Hunter said: “This allows us to take the next step as we develop our turbine to compete in the expanding offshore market. The C-Gen concept is the right generator design for our large-scale vertical axis turbine, and we look forward to successful collaboration and further development of this advanced permanent magnet generator.”
Markus Mueller, Professor of Electrical Generation Systems at the University of Edinburgh, said: “I’m very pleased VertAx has chosen the C-Gen technology. The partnership with VertAx will enable further advancement of the technology leading to full commercialization.”
“This technology has great potential, and it’s always wonderful to see the University’s expertise and innovation meeting industrial and societal needs,” said Dr. John Jeffrey, Business Development Manager at Edinburgh Innovations, the innovations management service of the University of Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Innovations has supported C-Gen’s development at every stage, from an early progression of the technology and identification of funding opportunities through to commercialization, which includes managing the intellectual property and licensing.
VertAx, based in Guildford, Surrey, was established in 2007. Its vertical axis wind turbine design contrasts with the horizontal axis turbines that currently dominate wind power globally. The company’s aim is to further reduce the cost of offshore wind energy while re-establishing wind turbine manufacturing in the UK.