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Tapping into new energy resources

The Switch is a leading supplier of power converter and permanent magnet generator packages for wind power applications. Deliveries are purpose-built to guarantee maximum productivity and ensure that customers’ systems deliver their full potential.

The Switch specialises in control systems, power electronics, and electrical machines – designing and manufacturing drive trains for wind power applications, industrial facilities, variable-speed gensets, and solar and fuel cell applications. The company’s networking approach enables it to offer rapid project implementation and fast deliveries, all the way from initial prototypes to full-scale production.

A technology leader

The Switch is an experienced supplier of permanent magnet machines and a pioneer in high-speed motor applications, and offers a wide range of power converters for renewable energy systems. These include AC/AC converters for wind and other variable-speed generators, and DC/AC converters for solar-, fuel cell-, and battery-based energy storage systems.

The Switch offers state-of-the-art power conversion systems for distributed generation and industrial needs, with a particular eye on renewable energy resources.

Close cooperation with innovative partners and the academic research community ensures that solutions supplied by The Switch incorporate the latest technology and are also fully tested and proven. Servicing and proactive maintenance support are also very much of The Switch offering.

By building purpose-built solutions around standard hardware that has been extensively proved in the field and drawing on extensive application and software engineering know-how, customers are guaranteed state-of-the-art technology, without the teething troubles that can often accompany leading-edge systems.

Solutions for wind and emerging renewables

The Switch’s energy-efficient drive train solutions are targeted at four main areas: wind power, industrial applications, variable-speed gensets, and solar and fuel cell systems.

The company’s power converter and permanent magnet generators are ideal for a wide range of wind turbine projects, including those destined for particularly harsh environments. Liquid-cooled converters have been supplied to Windwind Oy for its advanced 1 MW and 3 MW turbines, for example, featured elsewhere in HighTech Finland.

The Switch’s high-speed drives and permanent magnet machines for industrial customers are also very rugged, as well as compact, and are always designed to customers’ specific requirements. This highly customised approach is typical of the power electronics offered for variable-speed gensets, which are designed to offer optimal operability and controllability, as well as efficiency and reliability, by matching an engine’s best speed-torque point with the power output required.

In the same way, reliability is the touchstone for The Switch’s modular DC/AC converters for solar- and fuel cell-based systems. By offering both stand-alone and grid-tied configurations, a fuel cell installation equipped with The Switch technology can also operate as an off-line UPS.

> Jussi Vanhanen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)