Published on February 11th, 2009 | by Dave Tyler5
American Superconductor, DOE to Study Large Wind Turbine Design
February 11th, 2009 by Dave Tyler
American Superconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: AMSC) says it has entered into a 12-month partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy to find a way to make production of a full 10 megawatt class superconductor wind turbine economically attractive.
AMSC, based near Worcester, Mass., will work with DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and its National Wind Technology Center to study the economic impact and costs of AMSC’s turbine model. The company says its direct drive wind generator systems use high temperature superconductor wire instead of copper wire for the generator’s rotor, and are expected to be much smaller, lighter and more efficient than conventional turbine design.
Turbine power ratings have been increasing, conventional technology has topped out at a rating of about 6 MW per turbine due partly to limitations on the size and weight of what can safely be transported on roads to construct towers. Superconductor wire turbines would help solve that issue, the company says.
With wind power use growing and questions about the transmission of wind energy being addressed as well, technology such as AMSC’s could be an important addition leading to even wider adoption of wind power. Large turbines could also boost sales for AMSC, which could use the additional revenue. It will be interesting to see what emerges from this project.
Photo Credit: Jeff Kubina’s Flickr photostream, via a Creative Commons license.
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