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31 May 2013
Gamesa, a global technology leader in wind energy, has celebrated the third edition of its Patents and Innovators Competition, which acknowledges its employees' innovation and patenting efforts, viewed as crucial to development and protection of the company's technological prowess.
This year's prize-winning patents include a PLC-based system to control turbine performance in the event of gusts of wind, devised by Octavio Hernández and José María López, and a method and device for testing wind turbines onsite by separating the grid frequency from that of the prototype turbine being tested, created by Miguel Linares and Mikel Rodríguez.
The selection process entailed the evaluation of 64 patents registered in 2011 and 2012 under the following criteria: innovative ideas that dovetail with the company's technology strategy and generate value for the company either by reducing the cost of energy or creating a competitive advantage.
The first of the prize-winning patents is a PLC system that regulates, depending on readings for various variables - mainly turbine rotation speed and initial blade pitch, in a controlled manner, the hydraulic propeller that alters the blade's pitch in order to avoid excessive transient loads in the event of strong wind gusts, thereby enhancing overall turbine design, reducing the cost of its structure and extending its lifespan.
The second patented development is a device for onsite validation of the turbines' electric grid connexion that replicates all possible grid situations for the purpose of testing how the turbine responds.
At year-end, Gamesa had registered 283 patents, while its portfolio of patent families stood at 583. In 2011 and 2012, when it registered 37 and 27 patent applications, respectively, the thrust of the company's innovation drive focused on the development of technology that leads to a reduction in the cost of energy, in line with the company's strategic drivers.
At the award ceremony, Gamesas's Chairman Ignacio Martín stressed the role played by technological innovation in the wind power industry, due to its ability to create unique competitive advantage.
José Antonio Malumbres, Gamesa's Technology Managing Director, underscored how commendable it is to register a patent, "Anyone who has managed to register a patent knows what it means to find a new idea, develop that idea and give it shape and translate it into something patentable".
"These two inventions clearly demonstrate our continual accumulation of product and process know-how and our ability to pinpoint the technological developments that contribute to Gamesa's performance", he added.
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