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Real-Time Embedded Controller Makes Offshore Wind Power Reliable

Offshore Windmills

"Major advantages of Windows Embedded CE for industrial automation are the model of shared source, low royalties, and long-term commitment with 10-year support".

Stefan Hoppe,
TwinCAT Product Manager, Beckhoff

The wind power industry is being driven by global demand for clean, renewable sources of energy. AREVA Multibrid GmbH, a leader in wind power plants, has teamed with Beckhoff, a leader in embedded industrial automation, to solve many of the reliability issues historically associated with generating wind power at sea. An embedded controller running Windows Embedded CE6.0R3 and motion control software has transformed the Multibrid M5000 wind turbine into a fully automated, self-monitoring energy plant.

Windows Embedded CE offers a high-confidence software platform that supports differentiation through innovation and connectivity to enterprise systems. Six M5000 turbines, capable of powering up to 50,000 German households, installed in a North Sea test site reliably and efficiently generate clean energy with predictable service intervals. The entire control system is fully automated. Wind speed, direction, air temperature and other real-time measurements are sent to the PC, which controls the actuators of the turbine to achieve greater efficiency. At the onshore remote control room, technicians simply monitor the activities from a Windows-based desktop PC.

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