GOLD EcoSwing superconductor
Superconductors conduct electricity almost without resistance, offering an energy-efficient alternative to copper.
Vastly reduced material usage has contributed to making superconducting technology competitive with conventional electric machines.
The EcoSwing high-temperature superconductor (HTS) is the outcome of an EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation support programme, a four-year project that lasts until March 2019, with nine partners from five countries.
German engineering consultancy ECO 5 is responsible for the generator design, for which it claims a 40% mass reduction compared with PMGs.
The HTS generator is now incorporated in a 3.6MW direct-drive Envision "modular demonstration turbine" in Denmark.
Installed in 2012, it features a two-blade upwind rotor with partial-pitch control and a PMG behind the tower connected via a composite torque shaft. The layout enables "uncomplicated generator switching".
The exchange process involved installed power conversion and refrigeration equipment for cooling EcoSwing 40 superconducting rotor poles to -243oC with rotating cryocoolers and compressors.
The conventional outer stator consists of high-density copper coils.
The goal is to prove that a superconducting drivetrain is cost competitive with a conventional PMG- type generator in real-life generation.