One Million Run Hours; Zero Failures
BARRE, VT, USA (May 20, 2013) – With turbines operating in
Scotland, Northern Power Systems today announced that its
fleet of gearless turbines that experience hurricane‐speed
winds has achieved 1 million run time hours, all without
incident. That is equivalent to a cumulative 114 years of
continuous, safe, high‐performance operation.
Proper design and control are essential for a renewable energy
system to withstand challenging environmental conditions.
Reinforced blades, triple braking system, and a gearless design
are the key elements that make Northern Power turbines the
most reliable small wind turbines available today. They have
safely handled all types of weather and wind situations from the blustery conditions of Alaska to the
windy shores of the Maritime Provinces of Canada. Northern Power's entire fleet of gearless
turbines, with over 2.5 million combined run hours, has performed with a track record of zero
incidents. These turbines represent the most recent generation of proven technology from Northern
Power Systems, a company whose roots date back almost 40 years and which has successfully
deployed hundreds of other turbines during its long history, achieving over 10 million run time
As a testament to the design and engineering behind Northern Power turbines, all 74 units in the
path of Hurricane Sandy when it blasted through in November 2012 were undamaged by the high
winds. Once conditions returned to normal, each turbine started generating electricity again. "We
knew the machine would experience a hurricane eventually, but we never imagined it would happen
the first year," said Ron Masters, Commissioner of Conservation and Waterways for the Town of
Hempstead, NY. "We chose the NPS 100 for its reliability and ruggedness, knowing it would meet the
needs of the town's renewable energy education and outreach mission. The turbine's performance
to date has exceeded our highest expectations."
The last week of January 2013 brought severe gales and storm force winds to all parts of the United
Kingdom, with gusts reaching 85 mph in northern Scotland, yet none of the Northern Power turbines
in the UK were damaged.
On August 24, 2011, Hurricane Irene (a category 3 major hurricane) passed through the Bahamas,
leaving behind a trail of extensive damage resulting in monetary losses in the Caribbean estimated
to be as high as $3.1 billion. The island of Over Yonder Cay took a direct hit, yet despite the strength
of the storm that toppled other wind turbines on the island, both Northern Power 100 kW wind
turbines were undamaged. The NPS turbines did what they were designed to do: they entered into
safe mode after detecting high winds and returned to normal operation the following morning.
"We initially purchased Northern Power's NPS 100 because of the high reliability and low sound
profile, both a result of the permanent magnet direct drive generator design. After the NPS 100's
survived Hurricane Irene we purchased a third turbine because it was clear that the NPS 100 lived up
to the high standards that were advertised," said Mike McGuire, Site Manager, Over Yonder Cay.
Hundreds of Northern Power wind turbines have been installed globally, generating clean renewable
energy day by day while offsetting more than 50,000 tons of CO2. Northern Power is committed to a
cleaner, greener future.
About Northern Power Systems Distributed Wind
Northern Power Systems is a fully integrated company that designs, manufactures, and sells wind
turbines into the global marketplace from its headquarters in Vermont, USA, with European
headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland and a significant presence in the United Kingdom and Italy. The
Company's proven, next generation permanent magnet/direct drive (PM/DD), wind turbine
technology is based on a vastly simplified architecture that utilizes a unique combination of a
permanent magnet generator and direct‐drive design. This proven approach uses fewer moving
parts, delivers higher energy capture, and provides increased reliability due to reduced maintenance
and downtime. Northern Power Systems currently manufactures the NPS™ 60 and 100 turbines.