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Superconducting Magnet in Wind Turbines

by Stanford Magnets

Superconducting magnet technology will be applied to large capacity wind turbines.

Recently, the GE global R & D center started developing a new generation of 10 to 15 megawatt large capacity wind turbines. The project aims to make use of wind energy in the most economical and feasible way.

"The wind industry seeks higher megawatt - level equipment to maximize the use of global clean wind power, so new technologies are needed to support higher capacity fans," said Keith Longtin, director of wind technology at the GE global research and development center, "the biggest challenge is to deliver an appropriate, economically viable solution. We are developing innovative technology for superconducting neodymium magnets generators, which can generate more electricity and reduce the cost of wind power. " The generator is an important part of the fan.

Nowadays, most fans use traditional generators equipped with gearboxes. With the increasing capacity of the fan, additional weight and higher maintenance cost are needed.

The design of GE's superconducting generator will use a new structure and low temperature cooling technology to improve the reliability of the whole generator. The innovative application of superconducting technology will greatly improve the generator and make the elimination of the gearbox more economical. At the same time, the size and weight of the generator are reduced, the speed is reduced, and the torque is increased. Because the superconducting coil produces a strong magnetic field, it reduces the use of iron in the generator, so the use of superconducting technology can reduce the weight of the generator and reduce the dependence on the rare earth.

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