Enercon

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Enercon GmbH
Type GmbH
Industry Wind power industry
Founded 1984 (1984)
Founder(s) Hans-Dieter Kettwig, Aloys Wobben
Headquarters Aurich, Germany
Key people Hans-Dieter Kettwig (Managing Director)
Products Wind turbines
Employees ~13,000
Website www.enercon.de

Enercon GmbH, based in Aurich, Lower Saxony, Germany, is the fourth-largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world and has been the market leader in Germany since the mid-nineties.[1] Enercon has production facilities in Germany (Aurich, Emden and Magdeburg), Sweden, Brazil, India, Canada, Turkey and Portugal. In June 2010, Enercon announced that they would be setting up Irish headquarters in Tralee.[2]

As of July 2011, Enercon had installed more than 20,000 wind turbines, with a power generating capacity exceeding 28 GW.[3] The most-often installed model is the E-40, which pioneered the gearbox-less design in 1993.[4] As of July 2011, Enercon has a market share of 7.2% world-wide (fifth-highest) and 59.2% in Germany.[4]

Enercon currently supplies wind turbines to the British electricity company Ecotricity, including one billed as the UK's most visible turbine, an E-70 at Green Park Business Park.[5][6]

Technologies[edit]

Enercon Headquarter in Aurich

One of Enercon's key innovations is the use of a gearless, direct drive mechanism, used in combination with an annular generator.[7] This is in contrast to most other wind turbines, which use a potentially less reliable gearbox in order to increase the rotation speed of the generator. Other differences in Enercon's wind turbines are their distinctive drop-shaped generator housings (designed by Lord Norman Foster) and their towers, which are painted with green rings at the base to blend in with their surroundings.

In 2008, the first E-126 turbines (successor of the E-112) were installed at various sites throughout Germany and Belgium, including the Estinnes wind farm (consisting of eleven E-126 turbines) in Belgium.[8] Although the E-126 turbines was initially developed with a power rating of 6 MW, it has since been upgraded to 7.5 MW. The E-82 turbine was also upgraded and is available in 2, 2.3, and 3 MW versions.[9]

In 2002, the first Enercon E-112 prototype was installed in Egeln, Germany, with a power rating of 4.5 MW.[4] From July 2002 to October 2004, it was the biggest wind turbine in the world, until it was surpassed by the REpower 5M.[10][11] At the end of 2005 the E-112 was upgraded to achieve a 6 MW power rating.[4]

Enercon does not currently offer or supply wind turbines to offshore projects, and has at times expressed skepticism about offshore wind parks.[12] Enercon was rumored to have been ready to supply turbines to Germany's Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm and to a near-shore park near Wilhelmshaven, but did not do so.[13]

Turbines[edit]

Model Number Rated Power Output Rotor Diameter (meters) Hub Height (meters) Notes Source(s)
(E-15/16) 55 kW 15 Developed 1984, no longer available [4][14][15]
(E-17) 80 kW 17 Developed and installed 1988, no longer available [4][16]
(E-32) 100 - 300 kW 32 Developed and installed 1988, no longer available [4][17]
E-33 330 kW 33.4 37, 44, 50 [4][18]
(E-40) 500 - 600 kW 40 First gearless drive, no longer available [4][19][20]
E-44 900 kW 44 45, 55 [4][18]
E-48 800 kW 48 50, 55, 56, 60, 65, 76 [4][18]
E-53 800 kW 52.9 60, 73 Prototype developed 2006 [4][18]
(E-66) 1.5 MW - 2.0 MW 66 & 70 Prototype developed 1995, no longer available
E-70 2.3 MW 71 57, 58, 64, 70, 74.5, 84, 98, 113 Direct drive [4][18]
E-82 2 MW 82 78, 84, 98, 108 Direct drive [4][18]
E-82 2.3 MW 82 78, 84, 98, 108, 138 Direct drive [4][18]
E-82 3 MW 82 78, 84, 98, 108, 138 Direct drive [4][18]
E-92 2.3 MW 92 84, 98, 108, 138 Direct drive
Production will start in 2013
[21]
E-101 3 MW 101 99, 135, 149 Direct drive
Prototype installed June 2011
[4][18]
(E-112) 4.5 - 6 MW 112 & 114 108, 124 Replaced by E-126, no longer available [4][22][23]
E-115 2.5 MW 115 92.5-149 Direct drive [24]
E-126 6 MW, now 7.5 MW 126 135 Prototype developed October 2007 [4][18]

Patent dispute[edit]

Enercon was prohibited from exporting their wind turbines to the US until 2010 due to alleged infringement of U.S. Patent 5,083,039 .[25][26] In a dispute before the United States International Trade Commission, Enercon did not challenge the vailidity of the US patent but argued that their technology was not affected. The ITC decided that the patent covered the technology in question and banned Enercon turbines from the US market until 2010.[27] Later on, a cross patent agreement was made with the competitor General Electric, the successor of Kenetech, after similar claims of Enercon against GE. According to a NSA employee detailed information concerning Enercon was passed on to Kenetech via ECHELON. The aim of the alleged espionage against Enercon was the forwarding of details of Wobben's generator technology to a US firm.[28] However, the patent in question was registered in 1991, three years before the alleged espionage event.[27]

Gallery[edit]

Estinnes windfarm[edit]

11x E126 Estinnes windfarm Belgium july 2010, two months before completion, see unique 2 part blades
11x E126 7+MW turbines Estinnes windfarm Belgium 10 October 2010, after completion

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Simon, Hermann: Hidden Champions of the 21st Century : Success Strategies of unknown World Market Leaders. London: Springer, 2009.- ISBN 978-0-387-98147-5
  2. ^ "55 IT and wind jobs created in Tralee". June 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Enercon at a Glance". 2011. Retrieved July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Enercon Chronology". 2011. Retrieved July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Ecotricity: Our Partners". Retrieved July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Green Park, Reading: The UK's Most Visible Wind Turbine". Retrieved July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Annular generator". 2011. Retrieved July 2011. 
  8. ^ "The Wind Power Database: Estinnes Wind Farm". 2011. Retrieved July 2011. 
  9. ^ "ENERCON Wind Energy Converters, Product Overview". 2011. Retrieved July 2011. 
  10. ^ [(Deutsche Presse-Agentur)] Check |authorlink= value (help) (July 2002). "Enercon errichtet grösstes Windrad der Welt bei Magdeburg" (in German). Retrieved July 2011. 
  11. ^ "REpower Systems SE: 5M" (in German). Retrieved July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Windblatt". March 2009. Retrieved July 2011. 
  13. ^ "More MW/t, the offshore imperative.(megawatt thermal)(Enercon (Germany))". March 2011. Retrieved July 2011. 
  14. ^ "The Wind Power: Database (Enercon E-15)". September 2010. Retrieved July 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Wind Power: Database (Enercon E-16)". September 2010. Retrieved July 2011. 
  16. ^ "The Wind Power: Database (Enercon E-17)". September 2010. Retrieved July 2011. 
  17. ^ "The Wind Power: Database (Enercon E-32)". September 2010. Retrieved July 2011. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Enercon Wind Energy Converters: Technology and Service". Retrieved July 2011. 
  19. ^ "The Wind Power: Database (Enercon E-40, 500 kW)". September 2010. Retrieved July 2011. 
  20. ^ "The Wind Power: Database (Enercon E-40, 600 kW)". September 2010. Retrieved July 2011. 
  21. ^ http://www.enercon.de/p/downloads/WB_01-2012_en_web.pdf
  22. ^ "The Wind Power: Database (Enercon E-112, 4500 kW)". September 2010. Retrieved July 2011. 
  23. ^ "The Wind Power: Database (Enercon E-112, 6000 kW)". September 2010. Retrieved July 2011. 
  24. ^ E-115 / 2,500 kW
  25. ^ "Enercon vs. International Trade Commission and Zond Energy Systems". Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  26. ^ Space Daily Staff Writers (April 2008). "The Greening of Patent Litigation". Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  27. ^ a b Report of U.S. International Trade Commission
  28. ^ Echelon Rapport, EU Parliament

External links[edit]