Next Generation High Temperature Superconducting Generators for Floating Wind Turbine

Research projects

Project Description:

The current generator technologies used in offshore wind are mainly permanent magnet machines, doubly fed induction machines, rotor wound field machines. They all use copper wires for windings. Such machines have limited efficiency and are generally bulky due to relatively low torque/power density, which will make the nacelle larger and heavier and also increase the mechanical requirement for the tower. This is undesirable for offshore wind, particularly for next generation floating wind turbines. Therefore, this project will look at developing high torque/power density and high efficiency next generation high temperature superconducting generators for floating wind turbine. One example of such machines can be seen in Figure 1. The superconducting windings (armature and or field windings) will have zero losses and also have superb current carrying capability, leading to significantly higher torque/power density compared to their copper counterparts. So the generator size can be dramatically reduced, making not only the nacelle but also the entire tower lighter and more stable. The ultimate goal of this PhD project is to reduce the levelized cost of offshore wind energy, and therefore improve the acceptance of general public of such technology.

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