Perhaps better known for its grid-connection technology, ABB also makes generators for direct-drive and geared turbines, both doubly-fed and full converter type, and for all power and voltage levels. The company has delivered more than 35,000 generators for wind turbines over the past 30 years, corresponding to about 30GW of installed capacity, including most of the offshore turbines currently in operation.
ABB introduced doubly-fed generators in 1997, direct-drive permanent magnet generators (PMGs) in 1997, followed by its first integrated medium-speed product in 2000 and high-speed PMG in 2003.
Founded in 1996 in Berlin and opening its first manufacturing facility three years later, Euros has developed and produced more than 30 different rotor-blade types. Production, boosted by the opening of a factory in Poland in 2008, is now concentrated on four product groups with rotor diameters ranging from 50 to 135 metres.
Euros recently supplied the 167-metre diameter rotor set for the Mitsubishi 7MW turbine, currently undergoing tests on a floating foundation in Japan.
Eickhoff Wind Power
The German firm developed its first turbine gearbox, for a 125kW unit, in 1990, and now manufactures gearboxes for turbines from 1.5MW to 3.8MW. More than 7,000 of its Eicogear units are in operation, converting around 14GW of installed capacity.
Eickhoff worked closely with turbine maker Nordex on its ground breaking N117/2400 low-wind machine, still the class leader in this sector. It offers gearbox upgrades, up-tower repairs and workshop rebuilds, and has subsidiaries worldwide.
The Spanish-based electrical engineering specialist provides power converters, generators, turbine controllers, condition monitoring and supervisory control and data acquisition (Scada) management systems, plus electric pitch controls and after-sales services for a wide variety of global manufacturers. Since 1995 its components and systems have equipped 24GW of wind power worldwide.
LM Wind Power
LM is reported to be the world's largest maker of rotor blades - it is estimated that up to a quarter of currently installed wind turbines uses its designs. Headquartered in Denmark, but with production facilities in the US, Canada, Brazil, China and India among others, LM produces blades for 1.5-6MW turbines, and has worked hand-in-hand with Alstom to develop the 73.5-metre blade for its new 6MW Haliade offshore machine, now about to enter serial production.
LM's GloBlade series is a relatively new design for lighter, longer and slimmer blades, originally designed for 1.5MW turbines, but now extended for 3MW and low-wind ranges.
The Finnish company has been supplying gearboxes since 1980 to wind-turbine manufacturers that include Vestas, Gamesa, GE, Nordex, Senvion and Acciona. At least 13,000 units have been installed worldwide. It is currently developing the new Exceed gearbox for 2-3MW turbines, which it claims provides 20% more torque density with a 10% reduction in size on its previous 3MW design. Apart from its manufacturing plant in Finland, it has assembly facilities in the UK and North America, and service centres around the world.
The UK-based technology developer and manufacturer with long experience in the automotive and aerospace sectors, is now a leading supplier of major components and software packages to the wind industry.
Romax has 38 wind gearbox designs, which have received DNV GL certification in the last four years, and 6.1GW of installed capacity, says the company. It also offers condition monitoring software and services, field engineering and O&M support, and life models for predictive maintenance and plant optimisation.
The Germany-based manufacturer provides licensing and technology through its majority shareholder, China's LianZhong Composites, making it the largest supplier of turbine rotor blades in Asia.
The company has recently made its first venture into the offshore sector with a 62-metre blade designed for 6MW turbines, and has now started production of a 75-metre unit.
In summer 2014 Winergy completed delivery of 100GW of wind gearbox capacity, adding up to roughly 30% of total global installed wind capacity, a remarkable achievement for one company. Its most recent product offering is the medium-speed HybridDrive drivetrain with journal bearings, which can be specified with an electrically excited synchronous generator instead of the more usual permanent magnet generator. Winergy claims the design is suitable for 3-7.5MW turbines, and a 3.3MW prototype has been fully tested. It was judged Windpower Monthly's top drivetrain in 2014.
ZF Wind Power
The merger in 2011 of ZF, a leading supplier of drivetrains to the automotive industry, and Hansen Transmissions, similarly prominent in wind-power gearboxes, created a major new player in the wind sector.
ZF Wind Power now operates four manufacturing plants with a combined annual output capacity of approximately 10GW, giving it a significant presence in Europe, India, China and the US. The company supplies major OEMs of gear-driven turbines with co-designed and developed custom-built gearboxes that range from 1.5MW to 6.15MW in capacity. All manufacturing is done in-house.