Intermagnetics' SuperPower Subsidiary Achieves World-Record Performance in Second-Generation HTS Wire

Intermagnetics' SuperPower Subsidiary Achieves World-Record Performance in Second-Generation HTS Wire
03/04/2004

 

  • Performance Exceeds 6,000 Amp-Meters in Greater Than 50-Meter Lnegth
  • Accomplishment Continues to Demonstrate SuperPower's Leadership in Second-Generation HTS Wire Technology
  • Company Anticipates Commercially Viable Production Capabilities During 2005

Latham, NY - Intermagnetics General Corporation (NASDAQ: IMGC) subsidiary SuperPower today reported world-record performance in producing second-generation high-temperature superconducting wire at its pilot manufacturing facility in Schenectady, New York. The 6,000 amp-meter performance in a 57-meter HTS wire is 60 percent greater than the previous record announced by a Japanese company last year.

“This is a significant milestone toward our goal of demonstrating a manufacturing process capable of cost-effectively producing high-temperature superconductors that would be commercially viable for utility industry applications, as well as for government and military uses,” said Glenn H. Epstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Intermagnetics. “Our near-term objective remains to consistently reproduce and improve upon this performance in order to position SuperPower as a global leader in commercial production of second-generation HTS wire and applied devices.

“Intermagnetics envisions large-scale adoption of this technology by the world’s electric transmission and distribution systems, which have demonstrated substantial and well-publicized shortcomings in the past year,” Epstein said. “In addition, we believe this technology will meet the needs of national security through military applications that require the higher power density and lighter weight associated with HTS technology.”

Philip J. Pellegrino, president of SuperPower, added: “The importance of our latest accomplishment is that it validates our strategy of focusing on second-generation HTS materials as a ‘foundation cornerstone’ of our plans to provide both the enabling materials and the highly engineered devices that will serve the markets for HTS in the future. SuperPower has now clearly demonstrated global leadership in the performance of its wire and in the development of manufacturing processes characterized by high throughput, low capital expenditures, modularity and scalability. This is absolutely critical to the ultimate success of our technology in commercial applications.”

Pellegrino noted that the most recent SuperPower wire performance is three times greater than the 2,000 amp-meters reported by SuperPower in July 2003. At that time, SuperPower’s second-generation HTS program was awarded the #1 ranking among 14 industry and national laboratory participants by an independent panel of reviewers at the Department of Energy Peer Review. “Amp-meter” is a common measure of HTS wire performance achieved by multiplying the current carrying capacity of the wire in amperes by the length of the wire in meters.

“We are leap-frogging our own performance—and at an astounding pace,” Pellegrino added. “Our latest achievement occurred just three years after the installation of pilot-scale facilities at SuperPower and just two years after demonstrating continuous reel-to-reel processing in those facilities. Up until now, Japan and Germany have led the global development of second-generation HTS wire, primarily because of their head start in the early 1990s.

“We expect to achieve commercially viable production capabilities during 2005 that will firmly place SuperPower in a leading position—worldwide—utilizing patent-protected technology and manufacturing processes that will allow us to economically adjust to the ultimate needs of the market,” Pellegrino said. “We continue to expect that compelling market conditions will lead to a revolution in the way electricity is generated, delivered and consumed through an environmentally friendly reinforcement and upgrade of the aging, capacity-constrained power grid. Additional uses are likely to be in the area of military applications such as directed energy weapons using high-power microwaves and pulsed lasers, all-electric warships and hypersonic airborne applications, as well as naval operations involving aircraft launch and mine-sweeping.”

Jimmy Glotfelty, the director of DOE's Office of Electric Transmission and Distribution said, “This latest in a series of achievements by SuperPower validates DOE’s decade-long investment on behalf of the taxpayer in HTS technology. We must maintain this momentum to enable manufacturing scale-up and commercialization.

“SuperPower collaborates with Los Alamos National Laboratory in developing the core technology that has enabled these performance achievements,” Glotfelty said. “I am especially proud of the fact that it now appears to be within the grasp of an American company to lead the introduction of this revolutionary technology at the global level. The timing is superb in the wake of the worst blackout in U.S. history last summer, which is symptomatic of the undisputed need to invest more in our critical transmission and distribution infrastructure.”

Intermagnetics (www.intermagnetics.com) draws on the financial strength, operational excellence and technical leadership in its expanding business of Medical Technology that encompasses Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems and Components and Patient Monitoring. Intermagnetics is also a key supplier to the markets within Instrumentation and has become a prominent participant in superconducting applications for Energy Technology. The company has a more than 30-year history as a successful developer, manufacturer and marketer of superconducting materials, high-field magnets, medical systems and components and other specialized high value-added devices.

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Safe Harbor Statement: The statements contained in this press release that are not historical fact are "forward-looking statements" which involve various important assumptions, risks, uncertainties and other factors. These include, without limitation, the assumptions, risks, and uncertainties set forth here as well as in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, including but not limited to, the company's ability to: (1) attract and maintain strategic partners for its HTS initiatives; (2) invest sufficient resources and receive additional external funding to continue its development efforts; (3) attract and retain the personnel necessary to achieve its objectives; (4) attain commercial acceptance for and adoption of its products and technology; (5) successfully develop commercially viable production methods, and successfully improve those methods to meet the cost-benefit ratio that will be critical to making HTS technology commercially competitive; and (6) avoid the potential adverse impact on the company of emerging patents in the highly competitive energy technology field. Except for the company's continuing obligation to disclose material information under federal securities law, the company is not obligated to update its forward-looking statements even though situations may change in the future. The company qualifies all of its forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

 

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