Superconducting Motors and Generators
Superconducting turbines and other rotating machines are expected to generate the largest future demand for superconducting wire. Coils utilizing superconducting wire will enable electric motors and generators to operate at much higher power densities. When compared to a copper wire based electric machine with equivalent output power, future superconducting motors and generators will enable a significant size reduction for the motors with higher efficiency.
One potential sweet-spot for high-powered superconducting generators is expected to be 10+ megawatt offshore wind turbines. Offshore superconducting wind turbines promise to capture clean energy at a lower cost than competing renewables, while delivering power directly to growing coastal cities. Superconducting wind turbines are expected to play a unique role offshore since conventional technology cannot achieve the “power per tower” requirement. Although initial costs for large offshore turbines are higher due to the foundations and mechanical structures, these costs can be recouped by higher energy yields.
Quick Fact - New, emerging, low cost and high performance superconducting technologies provide unique benefits targeting Smart Grid infrastructure improvement.
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