skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: A Lightweight, Direct-Drive, Fully Superconducting Generator for Large Wind Turbines

Abstract

The current trend in the offshore wind turbine industry favors direct-drive generators based on permanent magnets, as they allow for a simple and reliable drivetrain without a gearbox. These generators, however, do not scale very well to high power levels beneficial for offshore wind, and their use in wind turbines over 6 MW is questionable in terms of mass and economic feasibility. Moreover, rare earth materials composing the permanent magnets are becoming less available, more costly and potentially unavailable in the foreseeable future. A stated goal of the DOE is a critical materials strategy that pursues the development of substitute materials and technology for rare earth materials to improve supply chain flexibility and meet the needs of the clean energy economy.Therefore, alternative solutions are needed, in terms of both favorable up-scaling and minimizing or eliminating the use of permanent magnets. The generator design presented in this document addresses both these issues with the development of a fully superconducting generator (FSG) with unprecedented high specific torque. A full-scale, 10-MW, 10-rpm generator will weigh less about 150 metric tons, compared to 300 metric tons for an equivalent direct-drive, permanent magnet generator. The developed concept does not use any rare earth materials inmore » its critical drive components, but rather relies on a superconductor composed of mainly magnesium and boron (MgB2), both of which are in abundant supply from multiple global sources.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Advanced Magnet Lab, Palm Bay, FL (United States)
  2. Emerson Inc., St. Louis, MO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Advanced Magnet Lab, Palm Bay, FL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Water Technologies Office (EE-4W)
OSTI Identifier:
1340499
Report Number(s):
DOE-AML-5140
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0005140
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; offshore wind; wind turbine; generator; drivetrain; superconductors; lightweight; low cost of energy

Citation Formats

Meinke, Rainer, Morrison, Darrell, and Prince, Vernon Gregory. A Lightweight, Direct-Drive, Fully Superconducting Generator for Large Wind Turbines. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.2172/1340499.
Meinke, Rainer, Morrison, Darrell, & Prince, Vernon Gregory. A Lightweight, Direct-Drive, Fully Superconducting Generator for Large Wind Turbines. United States. doi:10.2172/1340499.
Meinke, Rainer, Morrison, Darrell, and Prince, Vernon Gregory. Wed . "A Lightweight, Direct-Drive, Fully Superconducting Generator for Large Wind Turbines". United States. doi:10.2172/1340499. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1340499.
@article{osti_1340499,
title = {A Lightweight, Direct-Drive, Fully Superconducting Generator for Large Wind Turbines},
author = {Meinke, Rainer and Morrison, Darrell and Prince, Vernon Gregory},
abstractNote = {The current trend in the offshore wind turbine industry favors direct-drive generators based on permanent magnets, as they allow for a simple and reliable drivetrain without a gearbox. These generators, however, do not scale very well to high power levels beneficial for offshore wind, and their use in wind turbines over 6 MW is questionable in terms of mass and economic feasibility. Moreover, rare earth materials composing the permanent magnets are becoming less available, more costly and potentially unavailable in the foreseeable future. A stated goal of the DOE is a critical materials strategy that pursues the development of substitute materials and technology for rare earth materials to improve supply chain flexibility and meet the needs of the clean energy economy.Therefore, alternative solutions are needed, in terms of both favorable up-scaling and minimizing or eliminating the use of permanent magnets. The generator design presented in this document addresses both these issues with the development of a fully superconducting generator (FSG) with unprecedented high specific torque. A full-scale, 10-MW, 10-rpm generator will weigh less about 150 metric tons, compared to 300 metric tons for an equivalent direct-drive, permanent magnet generator. The developed concept does not use any rare earth materials in its critical drive components, but rather relies on a superconductor composed of mainly magnesium and boron (MgB2), both of which are in abundant supply from multiple global sources.},
doi = {10.2172/1340499},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2014},
month = {Wed Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2014}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share: