Permanent magnet generator technology

ABB has been developing permanent magnet applications since the mid ’90s for both the wind industry and the demanding marine industry. With this experience as its foundation, ABB addresses critical factors in the efficient and long-term operation of every high-, medium- and low-speed generator we develop


Electrical and mechanical design

ABB addresses design factors that affect the quality and proper operation of the generator, as well as the maximum kilowatt-hour production. These include the magnetic circuit design itself, magnet material selection, custom positioning, stabilizing and aging of the magnets, corrosion protection and the reliable fastening of the magnets in these mechanically demanding applications.

Magnetic circuit design

The magnetic circuit design is the most critical factor for the proper operation of a permanent magnet generator. ABB has designed many different low-, medium- and high-speed applications up to 6MW. Our expertise is used to ensure correct dimensioning and a low operating temperature—preventing demagnetization, even during fault situations—and also to ensure the correct positioning and fastening of the magnets for the different rated speeds.

Standard generator designs

ABB builds on proven technical solutions and offers standard generator designs for all of the main full converter concepts. These high-, medium- and low-speed designs are totally unique from each and require different mechanical and magnetic circuit designs. Turbine manufacturers benefit from our standardized solutions, which are used as the basis for each custom application—thereby reducing development costs and time and increasing the reliability and success of the turbine’s project execution.

Series production

High-strength permanent magnets present unique challenges during manufacturing. ABB has developed special procedures and tools that enable safe and fast series production of high-quality products for low-, medium- and high-speed concepts.

An experienced global partner

The low- and medium-speed concepts involve a high degree of integration into the turbine construction, a challenging task that can affect the development’s schedule, budget and delivery. ABB has been developing and delivering permanent magnet generators for wind turbines since 2000, helping turbine manufacturers remain both on schedule and within budget. 

Leading wind turbine manufacturers trust ABB’s expertise, and today most of the megawatt-class permanent magnet generators operating in Europe and North America were built by ABB. 
Wind power generation
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