Superconductors for Whopping Wind Turbines

E. Strickland , "Superconductors for Whopping Wind Turbines," February 2012, IEEE Spectrum
 
 
ARPA-E funds work on next-gen superconducting wire 
 
29 February 2012—The U.S. energy agency devoted to big dreams and blue-sky ideas is funding research on something really big that could stir up that blue sky.

In September, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) awarded US $31.6 million in grants to groups looking for alternatives to rare earth materials, which are critical to energy technologies. Two of those groups are trying to develop next-generation superconducting wire that can replace rare earth permanent magnets in the rotors of wind turbines. This research could lead to smaller, lighter, and more-powerful rotors that could enable giant offshore wind turbines capable of generating 10 megawatts of power each. 

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