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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with funding from DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office, works with dozens of small business across the USA to advance wind technology as a distributed energy resource through the Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP).
 
The projects selected through the most recent CIP solicitation continue the trends of developing turbines with larger rotors and advanced controls integrated with energy storage:
 
  • Carter Wind Turbines is receiving two awards. The first is to develop and implement a new 36-meter (m) rotor for Carter’s 300-kilowatt (kW) two-bladed downwind turbine. The second award will implement a new generator and control system for the 36-meter (m) rotor design that also enables integrated energy storage.
  • Matric Limited will finalise the development of the Intergrid 25-kW wind power inverter and establish commercial manufacturing capability, including automated assembly line testing, to deliver over 1,000 units per year. This will provide a modular inverter that can be used by 10–50 kW wind turbines integrated with storage and other distributed energy resources.
  • Pecos Wind Power will build on its earlier pre-prototype development award for a new 85-kW turbine designed to operate in lower wind speeds by optimising the rotor, nacelle assembly, and controller to increase power production, reduce loads, and reduce system weight and cost.
  • QED Wind Power will complete the certification of its 20-kW wind generator to UL electrical safety standards.
  • Star Wind will conduct type certification testing to verify performance and structural safety of its 45-kW, low-wind-speed optimised, six-bladed horizontal axis wind turbine.
  • United Wind will complete prototype testing of a new wind plus storage system—including a low wind speed rotor, advanced system controls, and integrated storage for its 95-kW wind generator—allowing this system to provide resiliency and flexibility to support local grid operations.
  • Windurance will build on the existing single-phase Intergrid 25-kW wind power inverter platform to verify design, manufacture test units, and conduct certification testing of a modular three-phase, 480-volt inverter and control system for wind generators in the 50-kW to 300-kW size class.
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