HTS Materials Technology
SuperPower has been at the forefront in the development and scale-up to commercial manufacturing of second-generation high temperature superconducting (2G HTS) wire since the late 1990s. Prior to this time, the HTS Group, as part of the former Intermagnetics General Corporation, began its work in first-generation (1G) HTS shortly after the discovery of high temperature superconductors in 1986. When Intermagnetics itself was formed in 1971, the early materials development work was focused on low temperature superconductors.
Superconductors come in two types, low-temperature (LTS) and high-temperature (HTS). The temperature that defines each is the level to which the conductors need to be cooled in order to become "superconducting." SuperPower has developed the capability to produce wire (tape) from forms of ceramic HTS materials that have transition temperatures of around 77K (or -320ºF), and thereby are called high-temperature superconductors. These temperatures are considerably warmer than the metal alloy LTS currently being used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) magnets.
Low Temperature Superconductors (LTS)
Low Temperature Superconductors were discovered in 1911 (see “What is Superconductivity?”). LTS materials need to be cooled to about 4 K, which is achieved with liquid helium. Clinical MRI was the first major commercial application of superconductivity and remains as the major market today.
High Temperature Superconductors (HTS)
The discovery of ceramic-based high temperature superconductors in 1986 in Switzerland opened the possibility of applying superconductivity to electric power devices. The 'high' in HTS refers to the ability to achieve the superconducting state at temperatures attainable using inexpensive liquid nitrogen, approximately 77K. The reduced cooling needs of HTS offer performance advantages to electric power devices that did not exist with LTS.
HTS wire is the enabling component for a variety of energy technology, transportation, medical, industrial and military applications.
SuperPower has concentrated its efforts on the following devices:
HTS Transmission Cable >
HTS Transformer & SFCL Transformer >
Superconducting Fault Current Limiters (SFCL) >
HTS Motors and Generators >
High Field Magnets >
Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage >
HTS Current Leads >
SuperPower Inc. is subsidiary
of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
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