Superconducting Wind Turbine Generators

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

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A HTS machine could be a way to address some of the technical barriers offshore wind energy is about to face. Due to the superior power density of HTS machines, this technology could become a milestone on which many, including the wind industry, will rely in the future. The work presented in this thesis is a part of a larger endeavor, the Superwind project that focused on identifying the potentials that HTS machines could offer to the wind industry and addressing some of the challenges in the process. In order to identify these challenges, I have design and constructed a HTS machine experimental setup which is made to serve as precursor, leading towards an optimized HTS machine concept proposed for wind turbines.
In part, the work presented in this thesis will focus on the description of the experimental setup and reasoning behind the choices made during the design. The setup comprises from a HTS synchronous machine where a revolving armature winding spins around an open bath liquid nitrogen cryostat, which contains the HTS coils cooled down to 77 K. A significant part of the thesis is allocated to the description of the setup, particularly the torque transfer element and the compact cryostat design, where a concept with ~20 W of heat transfer is achieved.
Following the setup description, the focus turns to the electromagnetic design consideration of the HTS machine. Particularly, an approach to increase the performance of HTS coils and the influence of the armature reaction to the HTS field winding will be discussed.
Two design strategies are proposed, novel in a machine design, in order to reduce the amount of HTS required in a machine whereby the merits of both have been experimentally verified. The first employs a multiple HTS types in the machine design, since each type of the HTS tape has a specific magnetic characteristic with respect to the critical current. I have showed that the potential for the reduction of HTS conductor can be significant, if the coils are placed strategically, whereby the coils wound with BSCCO performed 40% better depending on the placement in the field winding. The 2G coils were less sensitive to the placement which made them particularly useful for high magnetic field regions in the field winding. The second design approach proposed and tested was to use multiple current supplies which allowed each coil to operate close to its critical current. I have demonstrated that by introducing one additional power supply, an order of 12% higher MMF was generated (or equivalent HTS savings achieved). Increasing in the number of additional power supplies did not show the same potential for HTS reduction.
The implications of an armature reaction impact on the HTS field winding performance were examined and verified throughout a series of Locked Armature experiments. The interaction have been defined in the terms of two (direct and quadrature) axis machine theory (Park transformation), where significant reduction of ~ 20% was observed for the rated armature reaction in the q axis. Building on this observation, a control strategy for the excitation current to improve a partial load eciency of a HTS machine is proposed.
Thus, this work has shown that a significant savings of a the costly HTS tape could be realized indicating that the HTS machine design can still be optimized towards more competitive alternative to conventional machines. Additionally, by constructing the HTS machine setup we went through most of the issues related to the HTS machine design which we managed to address in rather simple manner using everyday materials and therefore proving that HTS machines are close to commercialization.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKgs. Lyngby
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Number of pages285
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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