A modular and cost-effective superconducting generator design for offshore wind turbines

KEYSAN O., Mueller M.

SUPERCONDUCTOR SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, vol.28, no.3, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/0953-2048/28/3/034004
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Keywords: renewable energy, superconducting generator, finite element analysis


Superconducting generators have the potential to reduce the tower head mass for large (similar to 10 MW) offshore wind turbines. However, a high temperature superconductor generator should be as reliable as conventional generators for successful entry into the market. Most of the proposed designs use the superconducting synchronous generator concept, which has a higher cost than conventional generators and suffers from reliability issues. In this paper, a novel claw pole type of superconducting machine is presented. The design has a stationary superconducting field winding, which simplifies the design and increases the reliability. The machine can be operated in independent modules; thus even if one of the sections fails, the rest can operate until the next planned maintenance. Another advantage of the design is the very low superconducting wire requirement; a 10 MW, 10 rpm design is presented which uses 13 km of MgB2 wire at 30 K. The outer diameter of the machine is 6.63 m and it weighs 184 tonnes including the structural mass. The design is thought to be a good candidate for entering the renewable energy market, with its low cost and robust structure.