Business World of Renewable Energy

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A New Prototype of 10MW Offshore Wind Generator

Donostia-San Sebastia, Spain - A huge market volume is expected for the upcoming years in offshore wind but severe cost reduction is required. Market demands more powerful and reliable wind turbines to reduce offshore wind farms capital and operation expenses. However the turbines in the range of 10 Mw based on current conventional generators would have a huge size and weight, putting at risk the technical and economic feasibility.

The Spanish based research and technology organisation Tecnalia has leaded an European consortium for the development of a novel 10 megawatt (MW) lightweight and reliable generator based on superconducting materials. This new generator shows a 26 percent weight reduction in comparison to a permanent magnet generator that permits to achieve up to 1 million Euro of cost reduction in a 10 MW wind turbine. According to the institute, Tecnalia holds a patent on this generator concept in Europe and USA.

As Tecnalia points out renowned European companies as Gamesa, Siemens, GE or Ingeteam, some of which are main players of the offshore wind sector, have shown high interest in this development.

Superconducting coils and the cooling system to produce very low temperatures (-253 ºC) have been the main challenges for the development of these generators. In order to validate the concept a prototype has been built. On this scale machine main innovative components have the same size and operate at similar conditions than in the 10 MW generator.

This innovative generator has been done in the framework of the SUPerconducting, Reliable, lightweight, And more POWERful offshore wind turbine (SUPRAPOWER). The consortium involved on this development comprises Columbus Superconductors, Solute Ingenieros, Ingeteam, D2M Engineering, Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie, IEE- Slovak Academy of Science and the University of Southampton.

Source: IWR Online, 28 Jul 2017