Superconducting Direct Drive Technology for Next Generation Wind Turbines: A Fresh Breeze in Renewables

2015-05-08 20:55 2356

SILKEBORG, Denmark, May 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Envision Energy, the world leading Smart Energy solution provider, announced that it aims to install a superconductive generator on one of its most advanced wind turbines. The product named EcoSwing generator is designed for a +3 MW class direct drive turbine, and will provide enough electricity to power 1000 households.

Anders Rebsdorf, Head of Envision's Global Innovation Centre, commented "After years of research, superconductivity has finally matured to a level where it can be considered for testing and demonstration on a full-sized wind turbine. The EcoSwing DD generator will be one of the most ambitious superconductive systems in terms of torque density, and we are proud to spearhead this important milestone project."

The EcoSwing generator is thought to be the first superconductive generator designed for a wind turbine and promises a step change in generator development. The key advantage of the EcoSwing generator is a weight saving of more than 40% compared to conventional direct drive generators. For the entire nacelle this results in 25% less weight, and of course proportionally less material usage. A particularly welcomed side effect is that the EcoSwing technology dramatically reduces rare-earth material reliance -- a commodity of scarce supply and price fluctuations. The consortium composed of members from industry and science thus anticipates that EcoSwing drive-train will result in a competitive solution compared to direct drive or geared solution.

Anders Rebsdorf added on the market impact "The potentials for a light-weight and competitive Envision HTS® generator are truly exciting. The EcoSwing technology can be an important advancement in our continuous quest for lowering cost of renewable energy."

EcoSwing obviously addresses multidisciplinary aspects of Research and Development and will advance industrial superconductivity, cryogenics, and power conversion. To address technology implementation, the consortium will carry-out risk studies and assess regulatory aspects. After thorough ground-based testing in a certified laboratory the EcoSwing generator is planned to operate for over one year on a large scale modern wind turbine in Denmark.

"EcoSwing has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 656024."

"Herein we reflect only the author's view. The Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

About Superconductivity

Superconductors are capable of conducting electricity without resistance. They are thus highly complementary to energy efficient technologies as a substitute to copper. In comparison to copper they can carry 100x times the current density, making electrical machinery compact and lightweight. Vastly reduced material usage contributes to making this technology highly competitive to conventional machinery.

About Envision Energy

Envision Energy is the world leading Smart Energy solution provider whose offerings include smart wind turbines, smart wind/solar management software, and smart energy technology services. Globally there are over 3 GW of Envision Smart wind turbines are in operation, while Envision Wind OS and Apollo solar platforms help manage more than 13 GW of renewable energy assets worldwide.

Envision performance includes being the 3rd largest turbine company in China, the largest offshore turbine supplier in China and the largest renewable asset management service company in the world.  Envision has offices in Shanghai, Beijing,  Nanjing, Wuxi in China; Silicon Valley, CA; Houston, TX; London, UK; Mexico City, Mexico; Osaka, Japan and its Global Innovation Centre in Denmark.

Envision Energy's vision is to enable solar and wind to become the primary energy sources by 2025, by using the latest IT and communication technologies including cloud computing, advanced sensor and big data analytics to transform the conventional energy world.

Source: Envision Energy