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Posted: Jan 11, 2013

EU project will shake up offshore wind market with smaller wind turbines

(Nanowerk News) SUPRAPOWER ("SUPerconducting, Reliable, lightweight, And more POWERful offshore wind turbine") is an EU FP7 founded research project focused on a major innovation in offshore wind turbine technology by developing a new compact superconductor-based generator.
wind turbine
The project aims to provide an important breakthrough in offshore wind industrial solutions by designing an innovative, lightweight, robust and reliable 10 MW class offshore wind turbine based on a superconducting (SC) generator, taking into account all the essential aspects of electric conversion, integration and manufacturability.

Today’s geared as well as direct-drive permanent magnet generators are difficult to scale up further. Their huge size and weight drives up the cost of both fixed and floating foundations as well as O&M cost. New solutions to provide better power scalability, weight reduction and reliability are needed. Superconductivity may be the only technology able to combine such features and allow scaling to 10 MW and beyond by radical reduction of the head mass.

SUPRAPOWER will pursue:
  • To reduce turbine head mass, size and cost of offshore wind turbines in about a 30% by means of a compact superconducting generator.
  • To reduce O&M and transportation costs and increase life cycle using an innovative direct drive system.
  • To increase the reliability and efficiency of high power wind turbines by means of drive-train specific integration in the nacelle.
  • After 4 year of own development and from an already patented concept as a consequence of that work, the coordinator (TECNALIA) has assembled a top-class European consortium from 7 countries. Industrial partners are a wind turbine manufacturer (ACCIONA WP), an energy company (ACCIONA E), an SME superconducting wire developer (COLUMBUS), a cryogenic systems supplier (OLV), and an offshore engineering company (D2M). In addition to the coordinator, research partners are a important laboratory with deep experience in superconductivity (IEE), a university (SOTON) and a national institute (KIT). The main outcome of the project will be a SC generator able to be scaled in wind turbines up to power levels of 10MW and beyond, enforcing a key European technology
    Source: Elhuyar Fundazioa
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