Technology intervention propels Adventure Power to international heights
The Department of Science and Technology (DST), through its Firm Technology Assistance Package (FTAP), has added significant value in the areas of design, increased production, job creation and global market increase of Adventure Power, the only local manufacturer of medium sized wind turbines in South Africa.
The FTAP is one of the solutions offered by the Technology Localisation Plan of the DST, implemented by the Technology Localisation Implementation Unit (TLIU) hosted by the CSIR. Adventure Power, as a supplier to state-owned companies, was selected to form part of government’s drive to improve the competitiveness of local original equipment manufacturers.
“The impact of this intervention on the company’s business is impressive,” comments Lorraine Shikwane, Project Manager at the TLIU. She explains how the improvements came about, “Adventure Power had to design its wind turbine in accordance with international standards to be globally competitive. The challenge for Adventure Power was the specialised software and technical assistance required in some design aspects. This is exactly where the FTAP could assist.”
Besides optimising the mechanical design of the wind turbines for future generations, and being able to bid for local and global wind energy projects subsequent to the technology intervention and certification, Adventure Power has also been able to employ 21 new people and envisages this number to grow in the coming months.
The company has scaled up its production capabilities for the 300 kW wind turbine, aiming to produce one 16 m wind turbine blade per day compared to only one blade per month.
In addition, the US military has shown interest in Adventure Power’s wind turbines for back-up power generation for its bases, and is finalising agreements for manufacturing rights. Adventure Power will also export newly designed wind turbines to the Philippines.
The company’s Lodewyk Brönn comments, “The software allows us to simulate the entire wind turbine virtually before any prototype needs to be built. This saves time, effort and costs as each component can now be designed, optimised, tested and validated – all virtually – before it is built.
“Adventure Power is very grateful for the TLIU’s assistance to boost the company into a new league, becoming globally competitive and a world-class wind turbine design company.”
Still to be tested – but potentially good news for residential, cost-effective electrical power – is Adventure Power’s first small wind turbine prototype. The 2 kW vertical axis wind turbine was designed and manufactured in-house with the new software.
For further information, please contact:
Media Manager: CSIR
Cell: +27 82 945 1980
Project Manager: TLIU
Cell: +27 72 643 7380
About the TLIU:
The Technology Localisation Implementation Unit (TLIU) is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which is hosted and incubated at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. The TLIU was formed by the DST to implement the deliverables of its Technology Localisation Plan. Services provided by the TLIU include:
• Benchmarking and technology capability evaluation services;
• Technology capability platforms, or shared technology facilities;
• Access to technical expertise;
• High-end technical skills development programmes;
• Design and tooling support; and
• Technology transfer benefits/Offset programmes.
About Adventure Power:
Adventure Power, a subsidiary of the Venture Group, is situated in East London. Adventure Power develops, manufactures and commissions 300 kW wind turbines with most of the components featuring an estimated 70% local content. The company manufactures the generator, blades, tower, machinery components and power electronics locally and most of the design work is also done in South Africa. The 300 kW wind turbine offers customers a less complicated and more suitable alternative to the generally larger models currently available. This enhances the participation of medium-sized industry looking to become more self-regulating in its energy consumption to participate in this market.