AGW has been involved in the wind turbine industry for a number of years, they make wound components that are used in the power management systems sited at the bottom of the masts of large turbines.
One of the latest projects has been with Windward Engineering, who have developed wind turbines for use in the marine industry. These turbines are designed to be placed on yachts and boats and exploit the sea breezes.
Stator Coils – complex winding requirements
AGW is involved in making the stator coils for smaller wind turbine units. These coils are in the head of the turbine along with the magnetic material and are part of the initial process that turns the kinetic energy from the rotating blades into the electrical energy that is required.
The winding of these stator coils is complex and AGW have had to develop techniques to wind stator coil sets that comprise of a series of connected coils, sometimes with adjacent connected coils wound in opposing directions.
Protection during transportation – keeping the budget low
The stator coil sets have to be well protected during the transportation in the manufacturing plant and between locations. The sets are not a standard shape, both AGW and Windward recognised this problem and looked for a solution. It was decided that the solution had to reflect the overall environmental sustainability concept, of which renewable wind energy is a major part.
AGW therefore designed and developed some bespoke re-usable packaging. This meant that there would not be packaging that was either disposed of, or had to go through a full recycling process. With the protection that these coil sets require, this packaging could have been a considerable amount.
Custom Vacuum Forming, providing storage and transportation efficiencies
The design comprises of custom made vacuum formed trays that are mounted into standard bases. The design allows the stacking of trays within each base. The bases can also be stacked and palletised. This system gives great protection and it allows the coil sets to be placed into the protective environment straight from the winding machine and not be taken out until they are assembled into a wind turbine unit at Windward.
“We have successfully implemented re-usable packaging for several customers and are always on the look out to see if re-usable packaging is an option. It is a very successful and satisfying policy, that helps long term costs, protection of the product and enables us to consider the environment each time.”
Nigel Godwin – Joint Managing Director