Switch unveils new full-power converter for China

CHINA: The Switch, a leading supplier of permanent-magnet generators and full-power converter packages, has introduced a new full-power converter series to address grid concerns in China.

Speaking at China Wind Power 2011, the company’s president and CEO Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen said the new series was the result of a three-year research project and had been verified in full-load factory tests.

The converter features low-voltage ride-through (LVRT) capability, which allows better grid-side performance and fulfils several international grid codes, he added.

During faults, the converter stays connected to and supports the grid, said Mäkinen, adding that its use would also reduce cost.

Following a number of incidents leading to the disconnection of wind turbines from the grid, the Chinese authorities have introduced more stringent requirements requiring all turbines to have LVRT capability, which enables them to continue operating safely when the voltage dips.

Even the smallest turbines in existing wind farms are being retrofitted with additional LVRT upgrade kits — that cost as much as new Switch converters — said Mäkinen.

The company expects to strengthen its position in the Chinese market with this new series, where quality is now valued over quantity and LVRT capability has become the focus, said Mäkinen.

"Our new products clearly exceed the maximum grid performance requirements in China. We trust that this factor will help us strengthen our position in the Chinese market," he added.

Sales of the new FPC2000 converter series will start early in 2012.

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