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Superconducting generator technology

2014

1. INTRODUCTION

In the wind energy sector new technologies are continuously implemented aiming at more efficient and reliable turbines that would lower the cost of energy. In particular for the expansion of the offshore market, apart the reliability goal the dimensions and the weight should also not exceed certain limits. The application of superconducting generators could meet these requirements. Various research groups around the world have been developing the superconducting technology for years and recent reports suggest that significant progress has been made. The objective of this paper is to reassume the latest developments with particular focus on generators for direct drive wind turbines.

Wind power generation has increased from less than 3 GW two decades ago to 282 GW of global cumulative capacity nowadays, being the renewable energy with the most successful deployment in this period . In the EU, five countries obtain more than 10 % of their electricity from wind and, by 2020, it is expected that wind energy will provide at least 12 % of EU electricity, significantly contributing to the 20/20/20 goals of European energy and climate policy .[ Wind power is having a successful growth over the last two decades going from less than 3 GW to 282 GW of global cumulative capacity .

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In the EU, five countries source more than 10 % of their electricity from wind [2] and wind energy will generate at least 12 % of EU electricity by 2020, significantly contributing to the 20/20/20 goals of European energy and climate policy [3]. 2020(GW) 40 100 2030(GW) 150 375 2050(GW) 460 1150

EUROPE WORLD

Offshore wind energy is rapidly developing motivated by the stronger, more regular winds at sea and more limiting sitting restrictions on land. According to the International Energy Agency, global offshore wind cumulative capacity could reach 100 GW in 2020 and 375 GW in 2030 . Offshore wind industry, in order to be more competitive and be able to scope market predictions (see table 1), demands important capital and operation costs reduction. Several cost reduction opportunities have been identified, which are mainly focused on technology development, improvement of the supply chain efficiency and finance. Thus the increase of turbine power rating has been pointed out as one of the issues with higher LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) reduction potential [6]. Actually, there is already a trend towards larger turbines. In 2012 the average size of installed offshore wind turbines was 4 MW, while ten years before it was 2 MW Nowadays, the dominant technology is the geared drive train induction generator, while direct drive permanent magnet synchronous generator still represents small market share of 3,16 % [8]. However, direct drive solutions are expected to dominate the offshore wind market in coming up years based on its higher reliability and efficiency in comparison to geared solutions.

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2.LANDSCAPE OF THE WIND ENERGY SECTOR

Wind energy is a vital component of the renewable generation portfolio in a prevailing sustainable global context. Only in Europe the wind powers share of the total installed capacity over the last decade has increased more than fourfold from 2.2% in 2000 to 10.5% in 2011 with an annual average growth of the installed capacity of 15.6% . Over the last two years Latin America, Africa and Asia are leading the market growth reaching a 6% increase globally in 2011 . These dynamic market conditions are driving the development of the wind energy sector by creating a constant demand for technical solutions that could result in a lower cost of the energy produced. Combining this fact with the oncoming offshore development further from the shore in grater depths, the demand for innovation is more than ever high.[1]

The generator and drivetrain subassemblies have known considerable evolution . In the early days of the industry, the wind turbines operated at constant speed and the drivetrain concept consisted of a gearbox connected to an asynchronous squirrel cage generator attached to the grid. Since the advent in the late 90s of variable speed machines the drivetrain has known considerable evolution. Initially geared doubly fed induction generators were adopted. However, operational experience has demonstrated that although the gearbox is not the most frequent source of failures, it is the one that provokes the greatest downtime . Moreover, gearbox reliability operational data has demonstrated that gearbox technology in wind turbines has reached equivalent reliability figures as in other industrial applications and therefore significant improvements are probably difficult. Consequently, the industry
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started investigating direct drive solutions, that although are not necessarily more reliable they suffer shorter downtime periods.[2]

The first topology to appear in the market was an electrically excited synchronous generator with a full converter. These generators are large and heavy increasing the structural requirements. In the prospect of moving to the +10 MW power range these generators would result in a difficult and costly installation process, whereas the tremendous dimensions would be a sensitive factor during installation as a source of early failures. Especially in the offshore wind with the installation being a complex and costly process these restrictions have a larger impact. The application of permanent magnets at the rotor excitation field seemed to be the next technological step. However, the sharp increase in rare earth materials price since 2010 has given rise to serious doubts regarding the economic viability of such generators in the 10 MW range. By considering the market situation in the rare earth minerals extraction industry it can be concluded that the current price range will not change dramatically in the near future . [3] In this context, the application of superconductivity in wind turbines could represent a viable alternative for the 10 MW power range. The force density of the conventional wind turbine generators is rather constant in the range of 30 - 60 kN/m2. With the application of superconductors this figure could dramatically change due to simultaneously larger magnetic field and larger current densities. As a consequence, very high power density can be achieved resulting in machines that are much lighter and much more compact than conventional machines. 6 MW HTS direct drive wind turbine generator would only weigh about 20% of the mass of a conventional electrically excited direct drive synchronous generator and only 50% of an optimized permanent magnet direct drive generator. Moreover, these machines have a very high efficiency almost at the complete range of operating speeds resulting in higher energy yield. This set of advantages provides a strong motivation to research groups and parties in the industry to investigate the application of HTS machines to wind turbines.

Superconducting generator technology

2014

Superconducting generator technology

2014

3. OFFSHORE WIND FARM

The wind farms which are installed inside the water body such as sea, lakes, etc. are known as offshore wind farms. A wind farm may be located offshore to take advantage of strong winds blowing over the surface of an ocean or lake. Individual turbines are interconnected with a medium voltage (usually 34.5 kV) power collection system and communications network.

At a substation, this medium-voltage electrical current is increased in voltage with a transformer for connection to the high voltage transmission system. Wind farms can be onshore or offshore. Onshore wind farms operate on land, generally in places of high altitudes or in large open spaces where the wind tends to be strongest. Onshore farms also have easier and less costly access to the utility grid. Drawbacks, on the other hand, include weaker yet more turbulent winds than those offshore. Offshore wind power refers to the construction of wind farms in bodies of water to generate electricity from wind. Unlike the term typical usage of the term "offshore" in the marine industry, offshore wind power includes inshore water areas such as lakes, fjords and sheltered coastal areas, utilizing traditional fixedbottom wind turbine technologies, as well as deep-water areas utilizing floating wind turbines.

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Fig: Transmission system for superconduting wind turbine farm

Fig: Capital cost cutting for off shore wind farms

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4. METHODS

Offshore wind power projection for Europe by EWEA amounts to a total of over 37 GW by 2015 and 100 GW by 2030 . In the United States, one of the various growth scenarios of wind power released by the Department of Energy projects wind to provide 20% of consumed electricity by 2030 within A 20 scenario will consist of both land-based turbines and offshore turbines, installed along the eastern and western seaboards of the United States for a total of over 40 GW offshore. To be on schedule with the 2020 renewable energy targets, the present 3.5 % wind energy share of electricity in EU should grow to about 30%, a level that could be reached using offshore wind and other marine renewable energies in a carefully planned environmental protection programme.[17] In the last fifteen years the capacity of grid connected offshore wind plants has reached about 3GW all in North European shallow waters, where additional GW are either close or proposed for installation. In the meantime the large offshore wind potential in deep waters and its low visual impact is mounting as the future clean electricity generation option with reported trends . Offshore floating wind turbine platform developed under EC.Collaborative Project .

On offshore sites, generally with higher winds, heavy wave regimes, less human use limitations and higher installation and maintenance costs, the economical benefit of marine renewable electricity could progress rapidly only if technology innovations are introduced. In the coming years offshore wind will reach competitiveness with the onshore renewable energies, particularly by large size turbines even in highly deep waters and with the help of technology breakthroughs as Direct Drive systems - no gear box and H.T. Superconducting generators . The technology of the offshore wind turbines is evolving
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for sea-bed-based foundations and is in accelerated phase of design, with promising kWh cost reduction, for the case of floating or Tension Leg platforms. The first Tension Leg Prototype is under test in the Norway deep waters. Over the next few years both superconductor manufacturing and cryogenic technologies will continue to evolve with a promising reduction in cost and increase in efficiency / reliability. As a result, for the same power levels, the cost of superconducting power generation will significantly reduce.[12] Meanwhile European industries are developing 10 MW Turbines thanks to EU funded projects, such as Upwind, mostly using classic copper wound generators. A group of advanced European (Zenergy/ /Converteam) and American industries (AMSC, AML) are developing 10 MW wind turbines with Superconducting electric generators.

The U.S. Department of Energys National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and its National Wind Technology Centre (NWTC) both support the American industries within a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). The Danish Superwind Project aims at assessing HTS machine particularly for large scale direct drive wind turbines.

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5. SUPERCONDUCTING GENERATORS

a. Properties In principle a superconducting electrical machine has a set of characteristics that lead to significant advantages. These potentially include [17]:

tic noise

Among these advantages some have already been demonstrated, while others necessitate verification with large scale demonstrators. These advantages were evident since the beginning of the development of such machines with the commercial availability of low temperature superconductor (LTS) wire in the 60s. The first demonstration of a rotating synchronous superconducting field winding was built at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Successively, research programs on large synchronous superconducting machines have been carried out by General electric, Siemens, Westinghouse and others, which resulted in a number of prototypes [18]. However the positive aspects of these machines were largely offset by the extreme cost, the complexity and the technical challenges mainly related to the cooling system which in turn arrested the diffusion of this technology. The commercial availability of HTS wire re-stimulated the research in the field of superconducting machines. In the following sections the topologies and the demonstrators that have emerged from the literature survey will be described.

b. Generator topologies In the literature were found some designs that deploy superconductor bulk materials. This is an interesting technology with grate potential. However, issues regarding the magnetisation of the material make its widespread application very uncertain in the near future. In this paper the focus is set on designs that are closer to applicability adopting commercially available HTS tapes. Due to the already discussed performance of the available HTS tapes in AC fields, in a large number of designs the machines have an HTS rotor field winding and a conventional stator copper winding. The electrical machines can be classified according to the direction of the flux lines to:

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The literature survey indicated that the vast majority of the constructed HTS machines until now are of the radial type. The axial flux topology has not been as extensively developed yet and this has resulted until now in prototypes with fairly moderate power ratings. Nevertheless, this machine topology is interesting, because it could lead to further miniaturization of the design since the machines linear dimension could be used more effectively by increasing the number of rotor plates and stator units . HTS generators have fundamental differences compared to the conventional electrical machines. Above all is that the presence of iron is not required. As a consequence another way to distinguish HTS generators is in: on on both stator and rotor

The magnetic core rotors are constructed in a similar way as in conventional machines. The rotor core material (iron) minimizes the requirement of the HTS wire and this reduction is effective even if the machine operates at the saturation flux density levels (i.e. 2T) . The machine has a high moment of inertia, comparable to conventional machines. Even if the flux density levels are lower than the air core generators, the torque densities are many times not inferior to air core machines and this is due to the fact that smaller coils and simple mechanical construction increase the speed and power density . The rotor can be at cryogenic (cold rotor) or room temperature (warm rotor). The warm rotor design has reduced cold mass. As a result the cool down period is short and therefore the machine is insensitive to the induced eddy currents. However, the support structure is more complicated because on the one hand it should limit the heat transfer from the iron core to the winding and on the other hand it should transmit the torque from the winding to the rotor body . Moreover, connecting structures of different temperatures could give rise to considerable thermal stresses and therefore the design of the construction and the material adopted should be carefully evaluated. [24]

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The cold rotor design has the disadvantage to increase the cold mass of the machine and as a consequence the cooling system requires more power and the time necessary to achieve the operating temperature is large. In the design process the eddy current losses should be evaluated as they affect the winding and should be removed from the cooling system. The advantage of this design is that the windings do not necessitate connecting structures at different temperatures and therefore the whole structure is mechanically simpler .[20] The magnetic core rotors are constructed in a similar way as in conventional machines. The rotor core material (iron) minimizes the requirement of the HTS wire and this reduction is effective even if the machine operates at the saturation flux density levels (i.e. 2T) . Another consequence of the replacement of the stator teeth is the change of the magnetic field distribution. There are no more slot harmonics and the transversal flux components are increased . The magnetic air gap is also increased (higher reluctance). For this reason the windings are made of Litz conductors (small diameter insulated and transposed copper strands) in order to minimize losses. The armature reaction is decreased and therefore the generator shows a reduced dependency on load changes .

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6.

SUPERCONDUCTIVITY APPLIED TO GENERATORS FOR OFFSHORE WIND TURBINES

According to the state-of-the-art, both geared and direct-drive synchronous and permanent magnet generators for application in wind turbines are difficult to scale up to 10 MW and beyond. Their huge size and weight drives up the cost of both fixed and floating foundations as well as installation, operation and maintenance costs. These could make higher power wind turbines unfeasible from a technical and economic perspective.[1] New solutions to provide better power scalability, topside weight reduction and reliability are needed. Superconductivity combines such features and allows scaling to 10 MW and beyond by radical reduction of the head mass. In recent years, superconducting materials have emerged as real alternative to conventional materials such as copper. These materials have the potential to construct higher power rate generators with lower volumes and weights driven by the following advantages: >They can achieve stronger magnetic fields through DC field superconducting windings. >They require less iron in the magnetic circuit, which allows more space for AC stator winding. >They permit higher air-gap shear stress, which allows smaller and lighter direct-drive machine design.[3]

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Nowadays, superconductivity in wind turbines is an active R&D trend and there are several superconducting generator concepts, as those proposed by General Electric, AMSC, RISO-DTU or AML [9]. However, these concepts face certain technical barriers that complicate their industrial feasibility for the very challenging offshore wind sector. Cryogenic fluids are used to cool down the rotor, and compatibility of the use of cryogens with the marine environment may not have been taken into account. Reliability of the cooling system has to be carefully considered due to the difficult handling and availability of the cryogenic fluids in offshore locations. The huge torque to be transmitted from the room temperature side to the cryogenic temperature side is also a challenging mechanical problem. Finally, most of the superconducting generator concepts are based on still expensive and not always commercially available materials, such as second generation high-temperature superconductors (2G HTS), or materials without attractive cost reduction perspectives in the future, such as 1G HTS.

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7.SUPRAPOWER: SUPerconducting, Reliable, lightweight, And more POWERful offshore wind turbine

The present work describes SUPRAPOWER EU FP7 co-funded research project . It started in December 2012 and is expected to finish at the end of 2016. The overall objectives are as follows: Reduction of the head mass, size and cost of offshore wind turbines by means of a compact superconducting generator. That leads to a reduction on operation, maintenance and transportation costs. Increase of both reliability and efficiency of high power wind turbines through a specific drive-train integration in nacelle. Maximization of the power conversion and wind response of the wind turbine by means of dedicated control systems/procedures. These goals aim to provide an important breakthrough in offshore wind industrial solutions and will be achieved designing and validating an innovative, lightweight, robust and reliable 10 MW class MgB2 superconducting generator, on the basis of the TECNALIAs patented generator concept represented in Figure 1. [5]

Figure 1. Superconducting generator concept patented by TECNALIA This generator overcomes the presented barriers for other superconducting concepts, being the design oriented to the offshore wind industry demands. The main advantages of this solution are the reduction
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of turbine head mass in about a 30 % with respect to conventional generators, a modular cryogen free cooling system that requires a reduced maintenance and the absence of rare earth materials which have shown high price volatility and supply problems. This generator is a direct drive AC salient poles synchronous machine, with field coils based on the use of MgB2 superconducting wire. [19] The main characteristics are indicated below: I. 10 MW class generator II. 8,1 rpm and 11,8 MNm III. MgB2 superconducting field coils IV. Air-gap armature winding V. 60 warm iron poles, 230 kAm VI. 11,9 m air-gap diameter VII. 0,52 m stack length VIII. Overall weight including structural mass ~ 200 t IX. Onsite efficiency at full load over 95% (including cryogenic system) MgB2 wire is an industrial solution with a very competitive cost, several times lower than other HTS wires. An MgB2 wire in the form of sandwich tape with outer Cu stabilization layer will be specifically designed, manufactured and characterized for this generator. The 10 MW generator concept will be validated through a scale machine in the range of 500 kW (figure 3) that will be designed, fabricated, assembled and tested to corroborate the design premises. When possible, the tests will be realized according to the standards IEC 60034-Rotating electrical machines and IEEE Std. 115-2009 Test Procedures for Synchronous Machines. To keep the maximum similitude between the small and the full scale generators, the power reduction will be obtained by reducing the number of poles from 60 to 4 and maintaining the size of the superconducting rotor coils identical both in the full and small scale generator. Basic full scale generator features like specific shear stress, superconducting and cryogenic implementation, modularity, quench detection or torque transmission will be similar, too. This will yield to a scaled generator which fulfils the basic performance parameters of the 10 MW machine, but with a substantial reduction of diameter, weight and power, allowing to test it in conventional test rigs.[13] The main characteristics of the scaled machine are indicated below: ~500 kW power ~120 rpm and ~40 kNm ~MgB2 superconducting field coils ~Air-gap armature winding ~4 warm iron poles, 230 kAm ~ 750 mm air-gap diameter ~0.52 m stack length
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Both analytical calculation and computer aid analysis (2D and 3D) of the superconducting scale generator will be realized to optimize its electromagnetic performance. The following critical aspects for the machine electromagnetic design must be considered: magnetic circuit must deal with high magnetic induction values, airgap winding support in unslotted stator, harmonics presence and peak field values in superconducting coils.

Figure 2. Electromagnetic simulation of the 10 MW generator (left). 500 kW scale machine simulation model (right)

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The field coils will be constituted by a stack of several double pancakes of MgB2 racetrack coils, placed between 2 thick copper plates for the refrigeration of the assembly (Figure 3). The cooling system is an essential part of the superconducting rotating machines. Up to now circulating cryogenic liquids solutions have been used but, this is a low reliable option for offshore applications. In this case a cryogen free cooling system in rotating configuration has been designed. As it is shown in figure 3, it basically consists of two parts, one modular cryostat able to accommodate one coil and a thermal collector which links all the modules. The heat is extracted by two stages G-M cryocoolers that rotate jointly with the rotor. Heat will be extracted by conduction through two high conductivity thermal circuits, enclosed by a thermal collector. One of them will be connected to the cryocoolers first stages and to the thermal shield (T~80K), and the other one will be thermally linked to the second stage of the cryocoolers and to the superconducting coils, maintaining them at operation temperature (T~20K).[6]

Figure 3. SUPRAPOWERs superconducting scaled machine cooling system


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The rotor is a warm iron poles configuration, which means that each modular cryostat only encloses the superconducting coils, thus the mass to be cooled is reduced and the high torque (11.8 MNm) transmission will be shared between the cold part (superconducting coils) and the warm one (Fe poles). In addition, the modular cryostat solution makes the construction, assembly and maintenance operations affordable in offshore conditions. Regarding the field coils, a converter able to give high steady DC current (~300A) at low voltage (~5V) is required to energize them. This converter could be located either in the fixed or in the rotating frame of the machine. In both cases power transmission to rotational frame will be required. Following technologies might be implemented and should be studied to find out the best alternative: slip rings and brushes, low power synchronous permanent magnet generator feeding a rotary current source and wireless transmission of power. The machine will incorporate a specifically designed protection system, able to detect a quench and to avoid any damage both in the superconducting coils and in the whole machine. The evolution of the main parameters in the superconducting coil along the time (current, temperature and voltage) must be watched over. In addition to electromagnetic and cryogenic parts, the generator needs structural elements to transmit torque and forces both from the blades to the generator and from generator to the nacelle and tower. An optimal integration, different to the one adopted in generators driven by gearbox, will eliminate the duplication of mechanical elements making lighter the wind turbine top mass. Main aspects that dealt in the contribution are described below: Mechanical air gap must absorb misalignments at large diameters, implying regularity around its periphery. Transmission of torque will be made along an optimal defined path. Minimization of the distance between wind turbine axis and nacelle bearing plane will avoid strengths over on it.

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A structure of arms will support the generator rotor to the wind turbine one and transmit mechanical torque. Relating to the grid connection, the generator output voltage has to be adapted from a level of 2400 V at 4 Hz to 50 Hz. To achieve this objective, two converters in cascade are required: one AC/DC (generator side) and another one DC/AC (grid side) separated by a DC bus. The generator side power converter needs to withstand high voltages and the DC bus voltage is too high to be used in two-level topologies with existent IGBTs, so a different topology should be used, for example three-level NPC (with 4500 V IGBTs). A study of different topologies must be carried out to find out the optimal one in terms of efficiency and controllability. Besides, working frequency is very low (4 Hz) at the nominal power of the converter. Due to the long conduction times, the IGBTs will suffer constant thermal cycles (with a period of around 250 ms), thus reducing their useful life to unacceptable low values. A study will be carried out to look for a solution for the refrigeration problem. On the other hand, the grid side power converter presents the same problems concerning the working voltage, but will show no problem regarding working frequency

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8. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
The harmonic content of high temperature superconductors (HTS) field winding in air-core high temperature superconducting synchronous machine (HTS SM) has been addressed in order to investigate tendency of HTS SM towards mechanical oscillation and additional loss caused by higher flux harmonic. Both analytical expressions for flux distribution and current sheet distribution have been derived and analyzed. The two main contributors to the AC loss of HTS rotor winding are also identified and their influence addressed on general level.

The electrical machines output power to volume ratio, as shown in Eq.1, is proportional to revolution speed ns, rotor produced magnetic flux density Brotor, stator electrical loading (stators magnetomotive force along its circumference) Astator, diameter of the stator winding D and length of the machine L. 2 /2kwBsA3ph stator D2Lns........................................................... Eq.1 From Eq.1 it is obvious that the torque is volume dependent since D2L presents machines volume. For conventional Synchronous Machines (SM), Induction Machines (IM) and Permanent Magnet (PM) SM machine product BrotorAstator is limited. Saturation of steel in rotor and stator or properties of PM are limiting the air gap flux density on 1.5T-2.2T. Current capacity of the stator and rotor winding is set by maximal tolerable temperature increase caused by Joule dissipation. Maximal stator electrical loading is reported to be 350kA/m . Thus in practice, the torque to volume ratio is constant for all electrical machines. On the other hand, from Eq.1
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the power of the machine for a given torque can be increased by rising its operational speed. Consequently, using the gearbox together with the electrical machine (also referred as a drive) and adjusting machines product (T ns = const.) to a lower torque - higher speed, is often very useful and justified, resulting in a lighter drive. Nevertheless, the gearbox as a solution is bound to low and midtorque application and has significant influence on overall efficiency and maintenance requirements of the drive.

Figure 1. Illustration of the generic cross section of the HTS SM with main back iron - gray, stator three phase air-gap winding - yellow, rotors cryostat - blue, HTS rotor winding - orange, rotors composite support - dark green

generator parts: stator

Wind turbine (WT) producers have in the past preferred the choice of geared drive with high speed generator. Still, rapid development of wind industry, especially aimed at offshore WT farms and WT up to 10MV A is favoring direct drive (DD) generators in WT due to low maintenances and robustness towards torque transients. The conventional DD generator for powers and speeds of present WT would need higher torque (and volume) 60 times compared to the high speed generator in geared drive. This volume expansion can be easily calculated from the Eq.1 if we assume for speed of high speed generator GBgen 1500rpm and speed of WT DDgen 25rpm. Obviously, in order to introduce DD generators in WT for high power range, the machine technology requires improvements of torque to volume ratio (T/V). High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) SM have become very interesting to researchers and industries enabling the machines with very high
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torque densities T/V [Nm/m3]. By increasing the current densities up to 100 times (and steadily rising) higher than cupper, HTS SM is aiming toredesign the electrical machines, making conventional machines design obsolete. With power ratings from 100kV A up to 5MV A, the wind power industry is one where these advances would open new horizons for gearless WT and units up to 10MV A, suitable for distant offshore wind farms.

One of the main ways how the HTS SM can offer advance of the DD trains T/V is by increasing the excitation (rotors) magnetic field. According to the Eq.1, if the field is increased twofold, the volume of such machine would be half of the conventional machine, both rated with same torque. As the flux of HTS winding is much larger than in conventional machine, control of space harmonic of HTS winding as one of the main sources of mechanical vibrations, increased losses in the machine and induced harmonics of stators voltage and current are essential for ensuring good performance of machine. Actually, since HTS is produced as a rather stiff tape, especially for applications where mechanical properties are crucial to provide the necessary strength and protection for the brittle superconductor, only the simple geometry coils (racetrack coils) can be constructed with present HTS technology. Having these constraints for designing excitationwinding for the SM can create a reservation towards the flux spatial distribution of such winding and its harmonic contents. The study of the HTS SM electromagnetic parameters and impact ofconstruction factors and constraints on machines flux distribution and harmonic content havebeen performed in Sec.2.1, Sec.2.2. 9th European Conference on Applied Superconductivity (EUCAS 09) IOP PublishingJournal of Physics: Conference Series 234 (2010) 032038 doi:10.1088/17426596/234/3/0320382

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HTS is a novel material in electrical machines and one of main concerns is the HTS losses which needs to be addressed. Other loss mechanisms in machine as eddy currents, iron loss, Jules loss, skin effect etc. will not be focus of this study. The two main contributors to the AC losses in HTS have been identified: pulse with modulation (PWM) caused by power electronics high frequency (HF) switching and wind turbine load changes caused by stochastic wind speed changes. The AC loss of HTS is function of the flux perturbations and we have evaluated amplitude of these oscillations in the case of air-core HTS SM wind turbine generator. The DC energy loss in HTS in HTS SM is also shown to be minor, using expected values of machine parameters.

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9. R & D Lab considerations for Superconducting 15-MW Wind Turbine

GE says its experience with superconducting equipment from its healthcare MRIs is applicable to superconducting generators for wind turbines. High torque at low rotational speeds may let wind turbines product up to 15 MW without a gearbox. See where the direct-drive superconducting generator is located in the wind turbine nacelle. The technology development arm of a large electrical firm says it has begun work on the first phase of a two-year, $3 million wind project from the U.S. Department of Energy. GE Global Research (geenergy.com/wind) says it will begin work on a next-generation generator for wind turbines that could support applications in the 10 to 15-MW range. Conventional wind turbines often use a gearbox to increase slow rotor speeds to a higher rpm required by conventional generators. While such drivetrains are effective, they become expensive as they scale to larger wind platforms due to their additional weight and maintenance needs. It is possible to get additional power from larger drivetrains, only with an increase in the cost of electricity. New technologies will be needed to support larger-scale wind platforms, says Keith Longtin, Wind Technology Leader, GE Global Research. He says the company will apply its experience with superconducting magnets used in healthcare MRI equipment. Field windings are where we want to use the superconducting materials and cryogenics. So to leverage MRI experience, we will go with the topology of a rotating armature, sort of the opposite of a conventional generator. Longtin adds that superconducting technology may allow significant improvements to the generator and eliminate the gearbox. For example, magnetic fields would be larger from superconducting coils, even larger than those from rare-earth magnets. Hence, greater outputs from a similar size. The key is in reducing generator size and weight while dealing with lower shaft speeds and high torque. For size comparisons, Longtin says, Our offshore turbine is rated for 4.1 MW, has a diameter of about 6 m,
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and weighs about 85 metric tons. We think with superconducting technology we can get 10 to 15 MW from about a 5-m diameter and the same weight. So thats about three times the output. GE says the superconducting machine will use commercially available cryogenic coolers (for temperatures below 77K) to improve the reliability of the complete machine. We will investigate use of superconducting materials such as niobium-titanium, niobium-tin, MgB2, YBCO, and other second generation materials along with liquid nitrogen, helium, and neon to get the generator to superconducting temperatures, and techniques for staying there, says team member Kiruba Haran, Manager of the Electric Machines Lab at GE Global Research. The proposed superconducting machine aims to have more then twice the torque density of competing technologies and will further reduce dependence on rare-earth materials prevalent in permanentmagnet generators that are finding favor in recent turbines. The greater potential power from superconducting generators, coupled with better energy-conversion efficiency leads to more favorable economies of scale. For example, fewer towers would be needed for a given wind-farm output, which will help reduce the cost of energy produced by wind turbines. The generator wind project will have two phases. Phase I will focus on developing a conceptual design and evaluating the economic factors associated with it. Phase II will explore potential commercialization of the technology. The Oak Ridge National Lab will be a partner on the generator wind project, helping investigate and mitigate high-risk technology challenges. Oak Ridge has facilities for more fundamental research, so they will run reliability testing on cryogenics. Its relatively easy to make something once and get the power needed, but can it be done in a reliable and cost effective manner over and over? asks Haran. We must do component tests to find the answer along with vibration and environmental tests for life data. WPE

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10. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES


ADVANTAGES OF OFF-SHORE WIND FARM
1. Better wind speeds are available offshore compared to on land, so offshore wind powers contribution in terms of electricity supplied is higher 2. Offshore wind farms take advantage of the strong, smooth ocean winds which create high quality wind capacities offshore. 3. Noise pollution is also not a factor with offshore wind farms because their sound does not carry to the shore

4. Reliable & Efficient Direct drive (no gearbox) Cryogen free modular cooling system (cryogenics fluids are not used) permits a reduced maintenance and an easier and fast replacement process in case of failure Over 95 % efficiency (on-site) 5.Weight reduction 10 MW Permanent Magnet (PM) generator weights around 380t, while SUPRAPOWER superconducting generator is below 200 t Weight reduction permits an easier installation and so reduction of vessels and cranes costs, and reduction of mechanical requirements for floating platforms and foundations

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5. Free of Rare-earths PM generators are very dependent on rare earths (at least 1000 kg/MW), while SUPRAPOWER generator is free of rare earths ( High price volatility shown in recent years) Free of Rare-earths Cost below 2,8 M (10 MW) is in the range of the PMs one at the lower price of rare earths MgB2 is very cost competitive in comparison with HTS wires

6.Cost competitive The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement Very high torque density Very limited dependence on rare earth materials Higher efficiency than an equivalent direct drive PM generator

DISADVANTAGES OF OFF-SHORE WIND FARM


1. The obstacles such as islands and lighthouses are few but must be taken into account in wind turbines sitting. 2. The installation cost of offshore wind farm is higher compared to onshore wind farm.

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11. CHALLENGES
Although there are many advantages ,these turbines have face some challenges too, such asCooling system The superconductors need to be cold: <5K for LTS <20K for MgB2 30-50K for HTS Insulation requires large effective airgap Large fault currents and torques Torque transfer Reliability has yet to be proven and requires years of operating experience Production capacity of HTS and MgB2are currently not adequate for large -scale commercialisation this should change if the need is present

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7.Size and weight Size and weight do not necessarily scale linearly Iron coreback is required to shield the magnetic field from ambient

Not as cheap to increase the number of poles

2 pole

10 pole

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Cost of HTS and PM in a 10MW wind turbine If 400km of 4mm HTS tape is assumed for a 10MW wind turbine generator With a current carrying capacity of 80A and a price of 50/kAm, this gives 4/m The cost of the HTS tape for a 10MW would therefore be 1.6 million In addition the cryostat, cryocooler etc. If 10 tons of PM is required for a 10MW wind turbine The cost of the PM for a 10MW would be k500 Superconducting generators may reduce volume and weight Material development intensive Basic design concept under evaluation Reliability to be proven Cost is both the prime concern and the prime driver 1 Introduction

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12. FUTURE ASPECTS

Superconducting wind turbines are expected to play a unique role offshore since conventional technology cannot achieve the power per tower requirement sense. Although initial costs for large offshore turbines are higher due to the foundations and mechanical structures, these costs can be recouped by higher energy yields. The increase in power density provided by superconducting turbines significantly reduces generator weight and maximizes power per tower, turning wind power into an economically viable alternative. Offshore superconducting wind turbines are a long-term initiative for HTS technologies. Wind energy is taking shape as a critical world resource for electric power. Today, wind energy is primarily land based. The expected future trend is to exploit a largely untapped supply of offshore wind energy. However, it will take time to build enough infrastructure for offshore wind power to significantly contribute to the power grid.

Superconducting turbines and other HTS rotating machines are expected to generate the largest future demand for 2G HTS wire. Coils utilizing HTS wire will enable electric motors and generators to operate at much higher power densities. When compared to a copper wire based electric machine with equivalent output power, future superconducting motors and generators will enable a significant size reductions for the motors with higher efficiency.

One potential sweet-spot for high-powered HTS generators is expected to be 10+ megawatt offshore wind turbines. Offshore superconducting wind turbines promise to capture clean energy at a lower cost than competing renewables, while delivering power directly.

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13. CONCLUSION
Remarkable advances in wind turbine design have been possible due to developments in modern technology. The advanced wind turbine technologies have been reviewed as follows. The factors such as selection of site, height, choice of wind generators, wind velocity, wind power potential have been considered as an objective function of probabilistic models. These mathematical models are used to determine the energy output of the wind turbine system. Weibull, Rayleigh distribution and Markov chain model were found suitable to predict wind speed data for the site. Selection of windy site for wind power generation requires meteorological data for installation of wind generator. Experimental and theoretical methods are used to analyze vibration problems of wind turbines. Rain flow counting, a linear Goodman fit and Miner summation are used for lifetime prediction of wind turbine blades. The aeroelastic and structural dynamic aspect helps in understanding various loads used for design and fatigue damage. Aeroaccoustic tests are used to find noise in the aerofoil. Computer-based supervisory control is used to identify operating characteristics of wind turbines. Static reactive power compensator is used to improve stability of large wind farms.Parato analysis and simulation models are used to analyze grid-related problems. Wind field modeling is an important part of a structural analysis of wind turbines. In aerodynamic modeling blade element moment theory is used for calculation of aerodynamic forces acting on the rotor blade. Control system modeling is used to keep the operating parameters of the wind turbine within the specified limit. These developments and growing trends towards wind energy signal is a promising future for the wind energy industry. With this improved technology wind turbine can be designed for its optimum power production at less cost.

It is also concluded that less number of authors had been worked on reliability evaluation of wind turbine systems. New research techniques on reliability evaluation will be the bright future in the wind turbine technology.

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14. REFERENCES
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