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Switching on to innovation

The Switch is a leading supplier of megawatt-class permanent magnet generator and full-power converter packages for wind power and other new energy applications. The company’s solutions help combat climate change and conserve energy resources.

The Switch specialises in control systems, power electronics, and electrical machines – designing and manufacturing energyefficient drive trains for wind power applications, industrial facilities, variable-speed gensets, solar power, and fuel cell applications. Rapid project implementation and fast deliveries come as standard.

Strong on technology

The Switch is an experienced supplier of permanent magnet machines and a pioneer in high-speed motor applications, and offers a wide range of power converters for renewable energy systems. These include AC/AC converters for wind and other variable-speed generators, and DC/AC converters for solar-, fuel cell-, and battery-based energy storage systems.

Close cooperation with innovative partners and researchers ensures that solutions incorporate the latest technology and are fully tested and proven. Servicing and proactive maintenance support also form part of The Switch’s offering.

By developing purpose-built solutions around standard hardware that has been extensively proved in the field and drawing on extensive application and software engineering know-how, customers are guaranteed state-of-the-art technology, without the teething troubles that can often accompany leadingedge systems.

Strong in applications

The company’s power converters and permanent magnet generators are ideal for a wide range of wind turbine projects, including those destined for particularly harsh environments.

Combining a permanent magnet generator with a power converter in a wind power drive train is simple, but only The Switch integrates everything into a totally optimised package.

Full-power redundant liquid-cooled converters have been supplied to Finnish-based wind turbine manufacturer Windwind, for example, for its advanced 1 MW and 3 MW units; and permanent magnet generators with full-power liquid-cooled converters to German-based PowerWind.

The Switch’s high-speed drives and permanent magnet machines for industrial customers are also very rugged, as well as compact, and are always designed to customers’ specific requirements. This highly customised approach is typical of the power electronics offered for variable-speed gensets, which are designed for optimal operability and controllability, as well as efficiency and reliability, by matching an engine’s best speed-torque point with the power output required.

Reliability is the touchstone for The Switch’s modular DC/AC converters for solar- and fuel cellbased systems as well. By offering both stand-alone and grid-tied configurations, a fuel cell installation equipped with this technology can also operate as an off-line UPS.

> Jussi Vanhanen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)