The cover story of the May 2010 Windpower Engineering provides some details for the Clipper Britannia, a 10 MW turbine the Carpinteria, Calif. company expects to launch about 2012. On the heels of that announcement comes news from a Mass.-based company, American Superconductor, and their plans for a 10 MW turbine. The company joins at least one other (A Danish firm, for a total of three) that has announced plans for a 10 MW design. From the AS website:
The offshore wind power market is entering a period of rapid and prolonged growth. The European Wind Energy Association expects that Europe alone will increase its amount of offshore wind power from less than 2 GW at the end of 2009 to more than 150 GW by 2030.
Since subsea structures and installation services can account for most offshore wind farm costs, developers are seeking to maximize their “power per tower” to get a more rapid return on investment. With the ability to produce 10 MW of power or more, the SeaTitan is expected to be one of the world’s most powerful wind turbine. This wind turbine is being developed by AMSC Windtec. Since its founding in 1995, AMSC Windtec GmbH has become involved in developing complete electrical and mechanical systems for wind turbines. The German firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Superconductor (AMSC) and is part of the Power Systems business
Each SeaTitan will contain a Titan generator. These generators use high-temperature superconductor (HTS) rotors rather than copper, which allows making them smaller, lighter, more efficient, and less expensive than conventional large-scale wind turbine generators. In addition, because Titan generators are direct drive, there is no need for a gearbox, which tends to be the most maintenance intensive wind turbine component.
AMSC expects to license SeaTitan wind turbines and Titan generators to multiple manufacturers around the world.
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The Ville says
I agree with anonymous.
American Superconductor can revolutionise wind turbine technology. It should be major news. But unfortunately these days engineering doesn’t make any news unless it results in the worlds biggest or fastest. Making something smaller and more efficient does not make news.
Paul Dvorak says
All of the 10 MW turbines (recall there are three) will be ambitious projects, maybe the AS version more so because of the superconducting nature of the generator. Each has a launch date (year) of 2012, not that far away. Lets see who launches first. The MSM might notice that.
This is the type of really exciting news that never makes the headlines of any big news outlet.