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Innovative offshore wind turbine technology competing for major engineering prize

A digital hydraulic power system from Artemis Intelligent Power is among the three shortlisted contenders competing for one of the most prestigious engineering awards.

A digital hydraulic power system that enables greater power generation from offshore wind turbines is among the finalists for this year’s MacRobert Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

The technology developed by Edinburgh-based Artemis Intelligent Power is called the Digital Displacement hydraulic power system. It essentially improves the synchronicity of the different elements of the turbine to increase overall efficiency, particularly when the turbine is operating below capacity. Troubleshooting is more precise and the system also uses directly connected conventional synchronous generators, preferred by network operators.

Artemis senior project manager Jamie Taylor said: “Most turbines work at part load, we’ve developed hydraulics that work really well when working at these fractions.”

Artemis, MacArthur, Engineering

Artemis engineering technology is enabling more efficient offshore wind turbines

According to Artemis, the system works combining the digital control of individual high-speed valves with a similar digitally-controlled motor. This creates an infinitely variable speed drive system. Artemis has made this on a scale for 7MW+ turbines.

Other finalists for the MacRobert Award include Endomag for a new breast cancer diagnostic tool and Victrex for its ultra-thin plastics that enable consumer technology.

MacRobert Award judging panel chair Dame Sue Ion said: “Innovative engineering is the key to our future growth in the UK and we will have to make increasing use of our knowledge and creative talent if we are to take advantage of this opportunity. These three companies are great examples of engineering for growth in action.”

The finalists are competing for a gold medal and a £50,000 cash prize. The winner will be announced on 16 July 2015 at the Academy’s annual awards dinner in London.

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