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Superconductor Technologies Inc. Message Board

  • jordanhuck jordanhuck Mar 3, 2013 4:26 PM Flag

    Converteam patent portfolio benefits to GE wind initiative

    "While based in Europe, Converteam has 19 issued patents in the U.S. and 18 pending applications that have been published so far. As it relates to solar and wind, the largest portion of their portfolio deals with frequency and voltage regulation, and more specifically with active and reactive power control."

    "It is interesting that long-time Siemens AG wind turbine technology thought leader Henrik Stiesdal is listed as a co-inventor on these patents, highlighting the commercial relationships with Siemens for their 3MW direct drive wind turbine technology. With a cross license arrangement on key generator, converter and controls technology between Siemens AG and Converteam, this deal now provides GE with access to IP rights which they may need to continue operating their own technology"

    "In light of the expiration of GE’s noteworthy and heavily litigated U.S. Patent No. 5,083,039 relating to variable speed control with an induction generator, the ‘490 Patent may be part of a suite of patents which helps GE protect the next generation of variable speed technology"

    "The superconducting generator technology is likely to be the subject of numerous patents and is also highly likely to be leveraged into their other lines of business, such as wind generators and propulsion"
    The quoted paragraphs are from an article on greentechgrid: titled, "Guest Post: GE’s Electrifying Acquisition of Converteam" written April 2011 after GE announcement regarding 90% stake in Converteam made public then. Many of the patents are linked there.

    In the Enlightening Find! thread, youthinklikeafool was running down a post I made. His statement included, "Also, to be clear, GE did not buy Converteam for anything related to their work in S/C. Converteam's bread and butter was in servicing large utility generators from all suppliers. GE bought them to expand their services business, not HTS equipment"

    The acquisition was important to applications GE will develop for which Conductus is suitable.

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    • jordanhuck - You are correct. I was thinking about GE's acquisition of Sensoplan when I made that comment about servicing large generators. Converteam was purchased by GE's wind business. Thanks for the correction.

      I would still argue it is a stretch to say GE bought Converteam for anything S/C related. Almost everything in the article you quoted from had to do with power conversion and grid interconnection. The exception was the two paragraphs where they talk about Converteam's 1.7MW Hydrogenie S/C generator project. That is not wind related and as far as I know that project has been shelved. I could be wrong on that. Maybe GE has just decided not to publish any further work on it.

      Regardless, all of the technical and financial reasons I gave for going with LTS instead of HTS for their wind generator are still valid.

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