EcoSwing Consortium has developed a full-size superconducting generator for a 3.6 MW wind turbine and field tested it in Tiborone.
Over the past decades, the size of wind turbines has increased significantly, and existing technologies are already finding it difficult to cope with the growing power levels of the units. Although modern generators with magnetic or pseudo-magnetic direct drives solve the problems of multi-megawatt generators, turbines over 10 MW are too heavy or expensive, respectively..
To solve this problem, the EcoSwing team used high temperature superconducting barium copper oxide (ReBCO) generators. They require fewer rare earth metals than devices with PM, which reduces their cost. Superconductors can also carry a high current density, thus reducing the mass of the coils..
In open tests of the generator installed at Tiborone, the turbine reached its target power range, including over 650 hours of on-line operation. This confirmed the compatibility of the technology with all operating features, such as speed changes, network failures, electromagnetic harmonics and vibrations..
EcoSwing project on the home straight – Superconducting wind power generator
According to the developers, the project has demonstrated that HTS rotors are no longer limited to laboratory testing and can be assembled in standard industrial conditions.
As a reminder, GE Renewable Energy announced the start of testing of the 12 MW GE Haliade-X wind turbine with 107 meter blades.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Digital Substation