Large superconducting wind turbine generators

Asger Bech Abrahamsen, Niklas Magnusson, Bogi Bech Jensen, M. Runde

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


To realize large (>10 MW) direct-driven off-shore wind turbines, a number of steps are needed to reduce weight and cost compared to on-shore technologies. One of the major challenges is to provide drive trains which can comply with the large torque as the turbine rotor diameter is scaled up and the rotation speed is lowered in order to limit the tip speed of the blades. The ability of superconducting materials to carry high current densities with very small losses
might facilitate a new class of generators operating with an air gap flux density considerably higher than conventional
generators and thereby having a smaller size and weight [1, 2]. A 5 MW superconducting wind turbine generator
forms the basics for the feasibility considerations, particularly for the YBCO and MgB2 superconductors entering the
commercial market. Initial results indicate that a 5 MW generator with an active weight of 34 tons, diameter of 4.2 m
and length of 1.2 m can be realized using superconductors carrying 300 A/mm2 in a magnetic field of 4 T and an air
gap flux density of the order 2.5 T. The results are compared to the performance of available superconductors, as well
as the near future forecasted performance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Procedia
Pages (from-to)60 – 67
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event9th Deep Sea Offshore Wind R&D Seminar - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 19 Jan 201220 Jan 2012
Conference number: 9


Conference9th Deep Sea Offshore Wind R&D Seminar
Internet address


  • Generators
  • Off-shore wind turbines
  • Superconductors


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