Advanced Magnet Lab, Inc. (AML) announced today that the Company is among six awardees of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the advancement of next generation wind turbine technology. AML was selected based on a proprietary innovative turbine generator which enables the development of the first fully superconducting direct-drive generator for large offshore wind turbines. These generators are up to 75% lighter, 50% smaller, more efficient and more reliable than systems in use today. This award represents an initial step in the fulfillment of AML’s Clean Energy Plan for deployment of clean, scalable and efficient generators and motors for large-scale energy systems. Successful development and deployment of this new technology will help position the United States as a global leader in wind energy technologies, reduce the cost of wind energy, and support thousands of new manufacturing, construction and planning jobs in the renewable energy market.
Energy prices and environmental concerns are driving the United States to develop domestic sources of clean, renewable energy. Research indicates our nation possesses abundant resources to create electricity from wind; and the DOE believes that generating up to 20 percent of the nation’s electricity supply from wind power by 2030 is an achievable goal. Much of that production would come from offshore wind farms, as offshore wind is significantly steadier and nearer to where the majority of the population resides, reducing the cost and energy losses of power transmission. Over 160,000 Megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy projects are scheduled to be installed during the next decade throughout the globe
As Vernon Prince, General Manager of AML Clean Energy states, “Wind turbines generating 10-MW of electricity power will serve over 4,000 homes and will lead to more economical and efficient wind farms. Scaling up to these mega-turbines presents many challenges including high reliability and economic viability. Conventional technology simply cannot achieve that scale. AML’s solution is transformational by reducing the size and weight of the drive train using superconductors and a very robust generator architecture.”
The funding will support the design and preparation of AML’s energy analysis model for its fully superconducting 10-MW generator. Collaborators on the project include a large U.S. industrial manufacturer and Argonne National Laboratory. “Direct-drive generators eliminate the need for a gearbox, which reduces weight, eliminates moving parts and reduces maintenance costs,” said Jerry Nolen, an Argonne Distinguished Fellow. “Turbines based on superconducting technology will have a huge impact on how future electricity is generated by reducing costs and increasing reliability and efficiency.”
AML’s solution is based on the principle of superconductivity, which allows the flow of electrical current with zero electric resistance and without energy losses when operating in a very low-temperature environment. “When applied to high power applications, superconductivity has the potential to provide revolutionary changes in power generation, power transmission and energy use by significantly reducing the cost of energy production and increasing energy efficiency in ways that are environmentally benign,” according to Dr. Philippe J. Masson, a Senior Scientist at AML and Principal Investigator for the DOE grant.
Headquartered in Palm Bay, Florida, AML has over 16 years experience developing unique technology for energy, medical, defense and space applications. Core to AML’s technology and capabilities is a team of international experts in the fields of high-power magnet systems, superconductivity, robotics and manufacturing. AML’s comprehensive intellectual property portfolio includes enabling software, magnet and manufacturing technology.