Novel model of stator design to reduce the mass of superconducting generators

Kevin Kails, Quan Li (Lead Author), Markus Mueller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High temperature superconductors (HTS), with much higher current density than conventional copper wires, make it feasible to develop very powerful and compact power generators. Thus, they are considered as one promising solution for large (10 + MW) direct-drive offshore wind turbines due to their low tower head mass. However, most HTS generator designs are based on a radial topology, which requires an excessive amount of HTS material and suffers from cooling and reliability issues. Axial flux machines on the other hand offer higher torque/volume ratios than the radial machines, which makes them an attractive option where space and transportation becomes an issue. However, their disadvantage is heavy structural mass. In this paper a novel stator design is introduced for HTS axial flux machines which enables a reduction in their structural mass. The stator is for the first time designed with a 45° angle that deviates the air gap closing forces into the vertical direction reducing the axial forces. The reduced axial forces improve the structural stability and consequently simplify their structural design. The novel methodology was then validated through an existing design of the HTS axial flux machine achieving a ~10% mass reduction from 126 tonnes down to 115 tonnes. In addition, the air gap flux density increases due to the new claw pole shapes improving its power density from 53.19 to 61.90 W kg−1. It is expected that the HTS axial flux machines designed with the new methodology offer a competitive advantage over other proposed superconducting generator designs in terms of cost, reliability and power density.
Original languageEnglish
Article number055009
Number of pages8
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Issue number5
Early online date4 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2018


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