Published: 22 January 2013 22 January 2013
A new project spearheaded by Spanish technology research and development center Tecnalia (the coordinator) aims to design high-capacity offshore wind turbines that are much smaller and lighter than the ones currently on the market.
SUPRAPOWER is a research project focused on innovation in offshore wind turbine technology by developing a new compact superconductor-based generator. The project aims to provide an important breakthrough in offshore wind industrial solutions by designing a lightweight, robust and reliable 10MW class offshore wind turbine based on a superconducting (SC) generator, taking into account all the essential aspects of electric conversion, integration and manufacturability. SUPRAPOWER will pursue the following general objectives:
- To reduce turbine head mass, size and cost of offshore wind turbines by means of a compact superconducting generator.
- To reduce O&M and transportation costs and increase life cycle using an innovative direct drive system.
- To increase the reliability and efficiency of high power wind turbines by means of drive-train specific integration in the nacelle.
Starting from an already patent-applied concept, the coordinator has assembled a European consortium from 7 countries. Industrial partners are a wind turbine manufacturer, an energy company, an SME superconducting wire developer, a cryogenic systems supplier, and an offshore engineering company. In addition to the coordinator, research partners are a large laboratory with deep experience in superconductivity, a university and a national institute. The main outcome of the project will be a proof of concept for a key European technology to scale wind turbines up to power levels of 10MW and beyond.