Superconductor Mechanism for Active Wind Power Generation

Superconductor Mechanism for Active Wind Power Generation

Energy CIO Insights | Friday, November 30, 2018

Alternative energy resources are the obvious answer to the concerns of increased global pollution rates. Technology has expertly perforated the sector of energy harnessing and is taking it to higher levels of efficiency. Harnessing of wind energy with the use of turbines is one of the significant ways to generate alternative energy.

The popularity of utilizing wind energy is on a gradual rise, but its growth is stunted by the several negative parameters that govern it. The extensive installation of turbines and the use of rare earth materials make the entire process very costly. The use of superconducting tape successfully reduces the use of these rare earth materials from a ton per machine, to just about a kilogram. The superconductors minimize the size, weight, and cost of the mechanisms effectively and produce the same power.

These tapes are made using a ceramic superconducting layer with gadolinium-barium-copper oxide, along with a steel ribbon at its back. This composition helps to protect against metal poisoning with the use of layers of magnesium oxide and silver. The issue of cooling this system is done by the same cryogenic cooling technology usually used in MRI scanners. This system of cryocooling will help reduce the capital and operational costs to a great extent.

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The EU-funded EcoSwing project is effectively using superconducting tapes in turbines. It is the first of its kind superconducting low-cost and lightweight wind turbine drivetrain. The use of the technology of superconductors helps to garner energy without any resistance. The superconducting tapes help to enhance the energy efficient technologies and provide for a successful substitute to the earlier used copper wires in the turbines. These tapes can transmit power 100 times more than the current density and prove to be a competitive alternative to traditional methods of energy generation. The project aims at using the superconducting tapes for at least a year in the wind turbines. This will help in generating and enhancing the confidence of the community on superconducting wind generators.

The use of superconductors in harnessing wind energy will gradually do away with obtrusive farms and create a lightweight and cost-effective smaller turbines. This will surely make renewable resources more accessible and a better choice, as compared to traditional energy providers.

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