Experts believe that wind power will be the key in the quest for alternative energy solutions. After years of research, scientists have determined that adding superconductors to generators will increase the performance and generate 10 megawatts while also reducing the weight and size of the generator.
Superconducting generators also use a fraction of the globes’ precious metals for manufacturing the most frequently used permanent magnet generator. Therefore, employing superconduction will allow wind power plants to be more efficient and robust while also incurring smaller building, operating, and maintenance costs.
The European Union-supported four-year project SUPRAPOWER (SUPerconducting, Reliable, lightweight, and more POWERful offshore wind turbine) has the objective of creating a wind power plant with direct-drive superconducting generator. The project is a collaboration between nine partners from industry and science cooperate under the coordination of Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Spain.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), a leading European energy research company, is collaborating via its Cryogenic Engineering Division at KIT’s Institute for Technical Physics (ITEP). Researchers at ITEP are currently developing a rotating low-loss cryostat that actively cools down the transition temperature down to 20 Kelvin.
KIT’s priorities lie in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energies, energy storage technologies and grids, electromobility, and enhanced international cooperation in research.