Thursday, November 18, 2010

ABB invests in Israeli wind-technology firm

Power and automation group ABB announced on Wednesday that it had made a strategic investment in Israeli wind-sensing technology company Pentalum Technologies.

The investment was made through ABB Technology Ventures, ABB's venture capital arm, which invests in early- and growth-stage companies with technologies of strategic importance to the industry segments the company serves.

Pentalum CEO and president Sagie Tsadka said that ABB was a preferred partner for the company as it had a strong position with wind turbine manufacturers, as well as with wind-farm developers and operators.

Pentalum is developing a light detection and ranging technology that remotely senses the wind vector in front of wind turbines to optimally align them to incoming wind flow. The system is also applicable to wind forecasting and site assessment, and is designed to significantly increase wind farm efficiency at a much lesser cost than other existing measurement technologies.

"Cost and complexity issues are hampering the widespread adoption of optimisation systems for wind power," said ABB Technology Ventures head Girish Nadkarni.

"We believe that Pentalum's approach will significantly improve profitability for developers and operators of this important renewable energy source," concluded Nadkani.

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