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Enercon GmbH
Headquarters Flag of Germany Aurich, Germany
Key people Managing Director Aloys Wobben
Industry Renewable Power
Products Wind turbines
Website www.enercon.de
Enercon E-112
Enercon E-112

Enercon GmbH, based in Aurich, Northern Germany, is the third-largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world and the market leader in Germany for several years.

One of Enercon's key innovations is the gearless (direct drive) wind turbine in combination with an annular generator. This is unlike most other wind turbines, which use a potentially less reliable gearbox in order to increase the rotation speed of the generator. Other differences of Enercon's wind turbines are their distinctive drop-shaped generator housings, designed by Lord Norman Foster, and their towers, which are painted light green at the base to blend in with their surroundings (Enercon Natural Color Scheme).

As of April 2007 Enercon had installed 11,006 wind turbines, with a total power generating capacity of 11.703 GW. Their most-often installed model is the E-40 (the number indicates the rotor diameter in meters), which pioneered the gearbox-less design in 1992. Enercon has production facilities in Germany (Aurich and Magdeburg), Sweden, Brazil, India, Turkey and Portugal.

Enercon was prohibited from exporting their wind turbines to the US until 2010 [1] due to infringement of U.S. Patent 5,083,039  [2]. Recently a cross patent agreement was agreed with its competitor General Electric. Enercon claims their intellectual property was stolen by Kenetech (US Windpower, Inc.) and patented in the US before they could do so. Kenetech made similar claims against Enercon. According to the European Parliament; Kenetech seeking evidence for legal action against Enercon for breach of patent rights on the grounds that Enercon had obtained commercial secrets illegally. According to an NSA employee, detailed information concerning Enercon was passed on to Kenetech via ECHELON.[1][3]

In 2002 the first Enercon E-112 was installed, with a rotor diameter of about 112 m and rated at 4.5 MW. From August 2002 to December 2004, it was the biggest wind turbine in the world. At the end of 2005, it was upgraded to 6 MW. Until end of 2007 a total of 9 units has been installed, the last ones with 6 MW rated power, 114 m rotor diameter and up to 124 m hub height. Currently the first units of the E-112 successor, the E-126 with 127 m rotor diameter and 135 m hub height are installed at various sites in Germany.

Enercon is not offering or supplying wind turbines to offshore projects as Enercon's managing director Aloys Wobben questions the costs and risks of offshore wind farms while the demand for onshore wind turbines, where costs and risks are significantly lower, can hardly be satisfied.

Enercon currently supplies the wind turbines for the British electricity company Ecotricity.

[edit] Sources

  1. ^ a b Die Zeit: 40/1999 "Verrat unter Freunden" ("Treachery among friends", German), available at [1]
  2. ^ Enercon vs. International Trade Commission and Zond Energy Systems. Retrieved on 2006-09-05.
  3. ^ Report A5-0264/2001 of the European Parliament (English), available at European Parliament website

[edit] External links

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