First superconducting wind energy generator successfully tested

A superconducting wind power generator was successfully tested for the first time on an active, full-scale wind turbine.

The 3.6 megawatt superconducting generator has been designed, developed and manufactured by the European consortium EcoSwing, and field tested in Thyboron, Denmark.

“The size of wind turbines has increased significantly in recent decades. However, current technology has been having trouble keeping up with the trend of increasing energy levels per unit [generator],” commented Anne Bergen of Twente University in the Netherlands. Low.

To meet this challenge, the team built a “high temperature” (-196 ° C) barium oxide (ReBCO) superconducting wired generator, one of the rare earth family members.

This option required fewer rare earth materials than permanent magnet wind generators – also built with materials from the same family – resulting in a lower cost. Superconductors can also carry high current densities, which results in denser coils in power and lower weight.
“The generator field test was extremely successful. When the generator was installed at Thyboron, the turbine reached its desired power range, including over 650 hours of grid operation. This shows the compatibility of the superconducting generator technology with all elements of an operating environment such as variable speeds, grid failures, electromagnetic harmonics and vibrations, “said Bergen.

But the advances were not limited to the technical part of the generator.

“He demonstrated that the production of high temperature superconducting coils is not limited to specialized laboratories, but constitutes a successful technology transfer from science to industry. The high temperature superconducting rotor has also been assembled in an industrial environment, showing that superconducting components can be deployed in a standard manufacturing environment.

“Now that the concept has been proven, we expect superconducting generator technology to begin to be widely applied to wind turbines,” added Bergen.

Design and in-field testing of the world’s first ReBCO rotor for a 3.6 MW wind generator
Authors: Anne Bergen, Rasmus Andersen, Markus Bauer, Hermann Boy, Marcel ter Brake, Patrick Brutsaert, Carsten Bührer, Marc Dhallé, Jesper Hansen, Herman Ten Kate, Jürgen Kellers, Jens Krause, Christian Kruse, Hans Kylling, Martin Hendrik Pütz, Anders Rebsdorf, Michael Reckhard, Eric Seitz, Helmut Springer, Xiaowei Song, Nir Tzabar, Sander Wessel, Jan Wiezoreck, Tiemo Winkler, Konstantin Yagotyntsev
Magazine: Superconductor Science and Technology
Vol .: 32, Number 12
DOI: 10.1088 / 1361-6668 / ab48d6