Taking the heat off wind and solar generation

Online brochure from ebm-papst Inc. offers advanced fan options for wind and solar energy manufacturers, installers and operators

Farmington, Conn., September 2013 – As green-minded consumers and businesses are adopting wind and solar power like never before, how can alternative energy producers more effectively heat and cool the equipment that harnesses these natural sources?

The U.S. Energy Department recently pegged wind power as the number one source of new U.S. electricity generation capacity for the first time – representing 43 percent of all new electric additions and accounting for $25 billion in U.S. investment. In its 2012 SunShot Vision Study, the Energy Department shows how price reductions and new technologies could help solar technologies satisfy roughly 14% of U.S. electricity demand by 2030 and 27% by 2050.

For high-performing equipment that generates electricity from the wind and sun, efficient, dependable and environmentally sound internal cooling is critical to reduce energy consumption and increase capacity. Leveraging its years of experience in the ventilation and air conditioning sector, ebm-papst is helping manufacturers, installers and operators of solar and wind power generation systems meet their unique cooling requirements.

“As part of our GreenTech philosophy, the on-site commitment ebm-papst has made to solar is an extension of the ventilation and cooling solutions we offer to our alternative energy customers,” said ebm-papst Inc. President Bob Sobolewski.

“In June 2011, ebm-papst installed its first array of solar panels on the roof of our Farmington, Conn.-based headquarter’s manufacturing facility, which generated 50KW of electricity at peak output. A year later, we installed another solar array that more than doubled our capacity. We’re now generating between 250 and 550 kilowatt hours of solar electricity per day for HVAC systems, computers and lighting in the plant and engineering building; ebm-papst fans cool the power inverters for both arrays,” Sobolewski added.

The company’s new Alternative Energy products online brochure (http://catalog.ebmpapst.us/brochures/Alt-Energy_3-13.pdf) offers a wide range of electronically-commutated (EC) motor-driven fans with speed control capabilities as low as a few hundred rpm. These features allows solar energy producers to minimize their power consumption during partial load situations, such as on a cloudy or low wind day. To prevent wind-turbine failures due to overheating, ebm-papst offers cooling solutions for inverters and electronics, pitch drives, generators, tower air conditioning, gear units, and nacelle air conditioning.

Wind turbine cooling solutions

Producers and installers of wind generator cooling systems turn to the company’s Plenum Fans/K-Modules, single or dual inlet centrifugal blowers and HyBlade® axial fans to maintain consistent temperatures and extend component life. Preferred solutions for nacelle air conditioning include HyBlade® axial fans and single or duel inlet centrifugal blowers, while HyBlade® fans cool the wind turbine tower and gear unit.

In inverters, where extremely tight space and a high power density are typical, ebm-papst products include RadiCal centrifugal fans, single or duel inlet centrifugal blowers, compact fans, Plenum Fans/K-Modules, as well as customer-specific designs. ebm-papst compact fans efficiently cool pitch drive systems in wind turbines, ensuring that the rotor blades always work at the ideal operating point.

Solar energy cooling solutions

When solar energy arrays are properly cooled, they require very little maintenance, providing clean electricity for 20 years or more. The ebm-papst line of energy-saving EC fans offer the speed controllability and durability needed to cool important power electronics without contributing unnecessarily to the load or affecting reliability of the photovoltaic system.

Solar inverters, which are packed in compact spaces, benefit from the reliable air flow provided by RadiCal blowers, Plenum Fans/K-modules, centrifugal blowers, HyBlade® axial fans and custom assemblies. For solar panels on homes and small buildings that require attic ventilation, ESM axial fans and RadiCal blowers can be mounted to roofs and gables.

“Because space is limited in wind and solar applications, our EC products offer a perfect fit,” said Todd Cardillo, alternative energy market manager at ebm-papst Inc. “They allow our customers to meet their cooling needs, without taking up too much real estate within the wind turbine or inverter. Our EC products use an external rotor motor with integrated electronics, which keeps space to a minimum. This means you get high performance, silent speed controllability, and long life expectancy, all in a compact package that is proven to be more efficient, quieter, less costly than the AC products it replaces.”

Alternative energy producers that require customized air movers also benefit from the company’s contract manufacturing capabilities. Design, electrical, and application engineers at ebm-papst leverage their expertise and market knowledge to develop customers’ concepts into sub-assemblies or complete product ranges.

For more information, contact sales@us.ebmpapst.com or call 860.674.1515

About ebm-papst Inc.

ebm-papst is the world’s leading source for engineered air movement products, providing a “total solution” approach and extensive in-house resources.

With its U.S. headquarters in Farmington, Conn. and offices in major cities throughout North America, the company’s highly-skilled and experienced team of professionals solve heating, cooling and ventilation challenges for industries and applications including HVAC, refrigeration, gas and heating, household appliances, IT and telecom, industrial, drive systems, automotive and rail technology and more.

The ebm-papst way of doing business offers models for sustainability, efficiency, product innovation, skill development and community involvement. The company’s GreenTech philosophy drives economic and ecological improvement in every product they develop. For more information, contact sales@us.ebmpapst.com or call 860.674.1515.