Korea comes up with superconducting coil for wind turbines

KEPRI | Superconducting coil

A team of university researchers invented a superconducting coil for 10MW wind turbines, which can potentially cut down turbine weight by one-third.

KEPCO’s R&D arm KEPRI (KEPCO Research Institute) announced on March 11 that a research team from Changwon National University led by Professor Minwon Park has developed a 10MW superconducting coil for large offshore wind turbines.

The team has been participating in KEPRI’s ‘Energy Hub University Cluster Program,’ in which around 580 researchers of 24 universities are participating. KEPCO is pouring a total of KRW 30 billion for three years into the program.

While a coil is an essential part of any generator, the weight of copper wire coil has been a headache for wind developers who always want more capacity for a turbine. Compared to the conventional copper-wired ones, superconducting coils have a higher current carrying capacity per unit area with lower resistance, potentially reducing the weight and volume of turbines by one-third.

KEPRI added that five times more dense flux interlinkage can be obtained, compared to conventional generators, by utilizing superconducting wire and resultant higher current carrying capacity.

“The development of large superconducting coil could contribute to the success of the Renewable Energy 3020 Implementation Plan (RE3020),” Professor Park commented.

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