A recent innovation in the field of wind energy will change the conventional energy- setup across the world. The factor of cost in manufacturing wind turbines is soon to be dropped off. A recent upgrade of wind turbine in Denmark under the EU-backed EcoSwing project claims to be producing the same power as a conventional turbine but is almost half the weight and volume.
The innovation encompasses the use of superconducting tape that reduces the number of rare earth elements used to as little as 1kg making the turbine lighter and compact. Subsequently, it reduces the cost from $45.50/kg to $18.70/kg.
Source- NBC News
The tape is composed of a superconducting ceramic layer including gadolinium-barium-copper oxide, with a steel ribbon at its back. Layers of magnesium oxide and silver protect the tape against metal poisoning. The cryo-cooling system is similar to those used in MRI scanners.
Although the technology is in the experimental stage, the benefits of real-world applications are quite evident. Not only will it lower the cost of setting wind farms, it will also lower the noises and obtrusiveness of conventional farms. With this technology, we are hopeful for a future in which renewable energy is more accessible.