It’s all about the connections for BGB Innovation
Both the wind turbines themselves and support vessel kit are in the market for a very useful brush system that keeps the data-transfer and power rolling “despite needing to rotate through 360-degrees” explained James Tupper of BGB Innovation.
However, he added the traditional brush connections, whether standard wire or carbon, have been very prone to wear – until now.
BGB were the first manufacturers to design a dedicated wind turbine slip ring for hub control but the company has recently taken brush development further with the HiPerCon system; not only does it have higher data transfer speeds but it also allows the slip ring to be maintenance-free for the entire lifetime of the wind turbine.
The advance is mostly down to the conductivity of the hundreds and thousands of silver fibres that make up the brush: the more consistent, better connection decreases both acoustic and electrical noise, even beating gold wire contacts which till now have been the (pricy) choice for high data transfer/low power applications. Of course, this new alloy composition also comes with a considerable cost advantage over gold.
Tupper added that given some rather similar requirements (including the need to keep maintenance intervals to a minimum), “offshore cranes and defence systems will be next in line” to benefit from the slip ring innovation.
However, that’s not all there is to BGB’s offering. The company’s ‘no drilling – no penetration’ Submersible Inductive Lighting System (SILS) for composite hulls will also be on show at Seawork.
Electromagnetic induction means exciting one side of a pair of ‘tuned’ coils so the other sees an energy flow. This characteristic allows for installation of the primary unit (the housing for all the inverter electronics and control) on the inside of the vessel, while lining up the secondary unit (the luminaires and drive circuitry) on the outside.
As both sides are simply glued in position with marine grade adhesives, the lights can be easily retrofitted without the worry associated with drilling a hole.
Usefully, control of these RGB-W coloured LED lights comes at the slide of a finger on your usual tablet or smartphone; all that’s necessary is to log into the surrounding SILS wifi zone. As this has a range of around 50m it will allow the lights to be controlled from bridge or deck.
Visit BGB at Seawork International 2018 on stand PB49.
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