In mid-July, we received the EC evaluation for NEOHIRE proposal. It was favorably evaluated within the H2020-NMBP-2016 call, and the grant preparation process started immediately.

The consortium includes CEIT as coordinator, Fraunhofer LBF and CIDAUT as research partners; UPV, UOB and KU Leuven as educational partners and Gamesa, Kolektor and Aichi as industrial partners. The EC has granted NEOHIRE a 4.917.638,75 € funding for this project.

NEOHIRE project (NEOdymium-Iron-Boron base materials, fabrication techniques and recycling solutions to HIghly REduce the consumption of Rare Earths in Permanent Magnets for Wind Energy Application) aims to research and develop new Permanent Magnet material technologies and solutions, in order to achieve a High Efficient Electric Power System based on highly optimized Wind Turbines with a strongly reduced dependence of Europe Access to Critical Raw Materials, especially rare earth elements (REE).

neohire_1Figure 1 Examples for sintered permanent magnets in wind turbine rotor (left) and tentative NEOHIRE new bonded permanent magnet with complex geometry (right)

In order to strongly reduce the REE demand in WTG, NEOHIRE project will research and develop new anisotropic resin-bonded permanent magnets (PM) using gas atomised powders with ultrafine microstructure. It is expected to reduce in this application the required amount of NdFeB alloys in about 30wt% thanks to the substitution of sintered magnets by the new anisotropic bonded ones.

neohire_2Figure 2 NEOHIRE overall project concept

NEOHIRE will develop a new concept of PM to be used in wind turbine that will decrease the necessity of neodymium (Nd) and that will fully eliminate the use of REEs and other critical raw materials (cobalt (Co) and gallium (Ga)) of its formulation. Furthermore, using tools to recover Nd, REEs and Co from current sintered PM and Nd from NEOHIRE new magnets will be designed.

With this new strategy, NEOHIRE will achieve a reduction of the EU dependency from Chinese market on REEs and CRM of up to 50% for permanent magnets in wind turbine.