Maxwell Technologies Obtains License To Patent Covering Use Of Ultracapacitors In Wind Turbine Blade Pitch Systems
San Diego, CA — Maxwell Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MXWL) announced today that it has obtained a non-exclusive worldwide license from Enercon GmbH of Aurich, Germany, for a patent covering the use of ultracapacitors in wind energy systems, including their use as backup power source for wind turbine blade pitch systems.
Dr. Richard Balanson, Maxwell’s president and chief executive officer, said that the license clears the way for Maxwell to market its BOOSTCAP® ultracapacitor products to any wind turbine or blade pitch system manufacturer that wants to incorporate the technology into its products.
“We have been in contact with a number of manufacturers that are interested in using ultracapacitors in their backup power systems, but have been waiting for this patent situation to be resolved,” Balanson said. “This agreement opens up a significant portion of the rapidly growing wind energy market that otherwise would not have been available to us.”
Blade pitch systems enhance the consistency of wind turbines’ energy output by “trimming” turbine blades to compensate for changes in wind velocity. Backup power allows for an orderly shut down in the event of interruption of the primary power source. Ultracapacitors’ long operational life and reliable performance in low temperature environments reduce maintenance and replacement costs associated with battery-based backup power systems.
Wind energy industry sources reported that approximately 15,000 megawatts of new wind energy generation capacity was installed worldwide in 2006, an increase of 25 percent from 2005. The industry has maintained an average growth rate of more than 17 percent for the past five years, and industry estimates project a similar growth rate and a total wind energy equipment market value of more than $180 billion for the next five years.
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