In 2008, WindSmart began its operation in the wind energy and tidal/wave energy industry. Engineers at the company were focused on developing a solution for existing wind turbine technology that would allow for variable speed operation and less downtime due to maintenance issues. After a few years of in-depth research and development, the engineers’ hard work paid off with the design of the patented WindSmart hydraulic drive train system for wind turbines. This innovative system for wind turbines offers many advantages over its traditional counterparts, which include increases in energy efficiency from variable speed operation, greatly reduced operational disruptions due to maintenance issues (no gearbox is needed), and the ability to rearrange the structures inside the nacelle to the tower or ground level for easier access and maintenance.
In 2009, WindSmart began its Phase 1 market development in the (OEM) market of wind turbines with a power range of up to 100 kW. The low-speed power range for wind turbines is the market area where constant speed wind turbines are most prevalent, and thus where the relative benefits of the WindSmart hydraulic drive train system are most significant.
The Phase 2 market development started in 2011, addressing the medium-speed power range for wind turbines of up to 700 kW. This medium power market is where issues with the gearbox have caused the shutdown of a large number of wind turbines and where variable speed operations are still limited, typically in the area of ± 10%. The Phase 2 medium power wind turbine market is viewed as a retrofit market.