To outsmart is to learn
As always after a show, when getting back from WindEnergy Hamburg I was full of enthusiasm and pride for the industry I am part of. I got to thinking what it is that I love most about wind, and got it. The wind industry is small but agile compared to the energy giants it is battling; like David against Goliath, always striving to outsmart.
I have always loved underdogs – not in a sympathetic way, but with admiration. Why? Because an underdog struggles and learns to survive. Challenges and hardship forces one to learn and improve, thus making one stronger and harder to beat. As an industry, we might sometimes feel like obstacles are impossible to overcome, but us, if any industry, have the ability to learn and win. As a company, we have seen our fair share of struggles in the past few years, but we have learned and evolved immensely.
Learning pays off. It is undisputable that the wind industry globally gains ground every year. As a Finn, I am proud to see the domestic market double its small size this year. Clear growth can also be seen in Europe and North America.
The industry’s drive to lower the cost of energy is higher than ever, and after a few years of struggling, the market seems to be back on a growth path. Wind now enjoys a positive, hopeful atmosphere, which is a prerequisite for learning. This was very clear to see in Hamburg, where outside our stand instead of skeptical frowns I saw happy enthusiasm and unreserved interest towards our new (however proven!) technology.
Isaac Newton has allegedly said: If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. We have been fortunate enough to work with the wind industry’s various sides and learn for over thirty years. Our wind gearboxes have become smaller, more lightweight and reliable, as well as noise and resonance free. Because we want to stay on the learning curve, our R&D never stops.
Torque density – getting more torque out of a smaller and more lightweight gearbox – has for long been one of our top R&D key performance indicators. Enabling this lowers the cost of wind energy across the value chain, as do our lifecycle services that can considerably save O&M costs.
In the 1990’s, our gearboxes’ torque density was somewhere in the zone of 60Nm/kg. Today, we are at a 120+ level depending on the application. Our newest product platform, the Exceed Series, is already at 140+. Our realistic objective is to raise the bar in the next two years to 200Nm/kg. I dare to say this is hard to beat. We have in fact seen further than others.
Like David and much like the wind industry, we are small compared to our peers. Like David and much like the wind industry, we learn - and we outsmart.
Manager, Marketing and Communications