The new generator is 4 meters in diameter, 1.5 meters smaller than a conventional one. It sits inside an 88 meter tall 3.6MW turbine in Thyboron, Denmark.
The magnets made from a composite tape with a ceramic superconducting layer: gadolinium–barium–copper oxide (GdBaCuO). The superconducting layer sits on a steel ribbon for flexibility and strength.
The superconducting tape is protected from metal poisoning by layers of magnesium oxide and silver. The magnesium oxide also acts as a template for the precise crystalline structure needed by the GdBaCuO. An outer copper layer offers electrical and thermal stabilization. Tens of kilometers of this tape sits inside the new wind turbine.
A conventional wind generator making 1MW of power will have about one tonne of neodymium in its magnets. The superconductor uses about 1 kilogram of the rare earth gadolinium. It costs just $18.70/kg (£14.50/kg) of gadolinium oxide versus $45.50/kg of neodymium oxide.
There have been supply issues for the neodymium. China has most of the rare earth supplies.
Off-the-shelf cryo-coolers from SHI Cryogenics in the UK chill the superconductor to –240°C.
Brian Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com, the top online science blog. He is also involved in angel investing and raising funds for breakthrough technology startup companies.
He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
He fundraises for various high impact technology companies and has worked in computer technology, insurance, healthcare and with corporate finance.
He has substantial familiarity with a broad range of breakthrough technologies like age reversal and antiaging, quantum computers, artificial intelligence, ocean tech, agtech, nuclear fission, advanced nuclear fission, space propulsion, satellites, imaging, molecular nanotechnology, biotechnology, medicine, blockchain, crypto and many other areas.