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Powerhouse Wind Ltd uses SolidWorks to Help Design a more Renewable Future

Image 1Solidtec caught up with Bill Currie, director at Powerhouse Wind Ltd, recently to talk about their experience with SolidWorks and with their provider; Solidtec Solutions Pty Ltd.

An interesting challenge for the renewable future is the possibility of using far more distributed power generation than we do now.

Such systems depend on sophisticated control and communication technologies to meet customer requirements for power quality, but offer the possibility of far more efficient use of our primary energy, opportunities to use diffuse forms of renewable primary energy, better resilience to disruption, and a power system better able to meet customer requirements.

A new class of appliances is required for this vision of the future. We are accustomed to energy-consuming appliances that perform a myriad of tasks in homes and workplaces. PV systems, fuel cell and Stirling generators, battery storage devices and, we think, small wind turbines; all will be developed as active energy producing appliances to generate close to the point of consumption.
As with all manufactured products and systems, issues of quality and quality management will ultimately determine the success of delivering and operating these appliances.

Powerhouse Wind Ltd develop wind turbines designed to utilise the wind flowing over your house as an economic power source.

Powerhouse Wind Ltd is setting out to design the ultimate small scale wind turbine. To do that successfully requires an extremely carefully conceptualised and executed design integrating mechanical, electrical, electronic, and software design, to produce a machine that not only optimizes physics and engineering, but pleases customers as a consumer product.

“We have built our design process very closely around parametric solid modeling, and though we have quite complex sculpted aerodynamic parts, and large assemblies, we have been able to explore a lot of options driven by spreadsheet simulations, blade performance modeling and physical experimentation. The number of variations and refinements we have done would have been very difficult any other way“, says Bill Currie; Director; Powerhouse Wind.

“We selected SolidWorks based mainly on its ease of use, robustness and modeling strengths. The PDM Works module with SolidWorks Professional was a big selling point as we have all had experience with out of control data, and even in a small team a robust way to share data and stay up to date with assemblies is critically important.”

When asked why Powerhouse Wind chose Solidtec as their CAD supplier Bill replied, “We originally chose Solidtec as our provider as we felt loyal to a member of their experienced staff, but since making that decision we have been impressed with the value that their subscription service provides. We’re also pleased that Solidtec have kept Dunedin on their map, and have kept coming down here to present product releases even though the user base here is quite small.”

SolidWorks is well known to have provided businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries, functionality that increases efficiency, and when asked to highlight what he thought was most important to him Currie said that “the SolidWorks functionality that tops my list has to be the fidelity between the electronic model;  going through the CNC path to prototypes that fit together. I really think there is no other way to work, and you would be crazy to attempt complex mechanical design without a parametric solid modelling program such as SolidWorks.”

When asked about the integration of other SolidWorks products for Powerhouse Wind, Bill stated that, “we haven’t reached the stage of writing manuals, but would use seriously consider using 3DVIA composer when we do. We haven’t used any Simulation capabilities as yet, but intend to in the future instead of having it done by a third party. We have used SolidWorks models, eParts, and eDrawings extensively with parts suppliers to communicate designs and proposed changes. We use PDMWorks, and regard it as an essential tool for our development process.”

For more information on Powerhouse Wind Ltd visit

For more information on Solidtec Solutions or the SolidWorks products they provide contact us via:

Australia - 1800 824 883
New Zealand - 0800 765 438

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