Clipper Windpower, based in Carpineria, Calif. received an Outstanding Research and Development Partnership Award from the U.S. Department of Energy for the design and development of its 2.5 MW Liberty Wind Turbine, the largest wind turbine manufactured in the U.S.
Acknowledging Clipper for its "outstanding contribution toward industry advancements", the award recognizes "the Liberty wind turbine, which attained unparalleled levels of efficiency and reliability and reduced cost of energy."
The turbine was developed under a partnership with DOE and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Designed to address current industry gearbox and other component deficiencies and minimize unscheduled maintenance events, the Liberty wind turbine distributes torque loads four times more efficiently than conventional machines through its patented Quantum Drive Distributed Generation Powertrain. Proprietary permanent magnet generator technology delivers higher powertrain efficiency, and variable speed operation is achieved in a simpler and more efficient manner. A 2-ton on-board crane simplifies maintenance and significantly reduces associated costs. Installation can be accomplished with a crane sized for most commercial 1.5 MW units.
Commercial sales efforts kicked-off in June 2006 for the new Liberty wind turbine and account for more than 5,600 MW (2,240 units) of firm and contingent orders for deliveries in 2007 through 2011.