Leaders in magnetic gear box technology, Magnomatics is commercialising the next generation of direct drive generators.
Solutions for the offshore wind industry
A closer look at Magnomatics
Magnomatics’ unique magnetic gear technology will deliver significant cost reductions in turbine operations and maintenance (O&M), supercharge the productivity of wind turbines and reduce the levelised cost of energy production by up to 3%.
At the heart of this innovative technology is Magnomaticsʼ utilisation of magnetic gears. With no touching partners, the gearbox components do not wear out and fail. Magnomaticsʼ gearboxes provide superior reliability, efficiency and turbine productivity.
Magnomatics is currently working with a large industry partner to develop the next generation of the machine for Offshore Wind application. This has led to significant investment in the technologyʼs development which is in turn accelerating the commercialisation journey.
Impact of the support
Magnomatics had previously secured funding from the EU and BEIS for projects which supported growth and development of UK content in Offshore Wind. These projects included the design, build and test of a Magnomatics Pseudo Direct Drive (PDD)® 500kW generator at ORE Catapult’s Blyth facility, which is able to deliver a 3% reduction in the levelized cost of energy (LCOE).
Further support and investment was needed to take the PDD to multi-megawatt scale to meet the demands of the UK’s burgeoning Offshore Wind sector. Through engaging with ORE Catapult, Magnomatics discovered the OWGP Pilot Funding Competition in 2019 and successfully secured funding to support the development of advanced manufacturing techniques to improve the productivity, reliability and safety of the manufacturing process.
The rare earth magnets used within the generator technology are very powerful and potentially dangerous if not handled properly. It was therefore a very time-consuming process to build the rotor, requiring bespoke tooling which was very expensive. These presented critical barriers to commercialisation.
Project ROBOMAG was established with the AMRC to explore the use of a robotic arm to pick, place and bond magnets to the rotor to increase manufacturing efficiency, improve reliability and maximise health and safety. The project successfully validated the process and exceeded expectations in terms of time saved.
The principal benefit to the company as a result of this support was reducing a 55 minute process to 55 seconds – a huge achievement with significant cost reduction potential.
Being able to demonstrate that this manufacturing process works has helped to strengthen the relationship between Magnomatics and its industrial partner and provides further confidence in Magnomatics’ efficiency. This project has also enabled Magnomatics to cement its relationship with the AMRC and The Future Electric Machines Manufacturing Hub (Femm Hub) to continue its work in driving the electric revolution.
“The ROBOMAG project was a major step forward for Magnomatics and our magnetic gear technology. We have already proven our technology in terms of performance. The ROBOMAG project demonstrated that a crucial aspect of manufacture was economically viable.”