SuperPower’s high performance superconductor wire is successfully incorporated into a growing number of demanding applications

For Immediate Release

 

SuperPower’s high performance superconductor wire is successfully incorporated into a growing number of demanding smart grid, industry and research applications 

  • Improved grid protection devices benefit from high resistivity of SuperPower’s FCL wire
  • SuperPower “AP” wire increases efficiency of motor and generator applications
  • SuperPower wire enables achievement of new world record performance in high field magnets

 

April 23, 2012 - Schenectady, NY – SuperPower, a world-leading developer and producer of superconducting wire and coils, is again participating in this week’s Hannover Messe SuperConducting City Exhibition from April 23-27, 2012 with an exhibition focused on applications of its state-of-the-art second-generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire, the enabling component for many energy-efficient and power dense devices under development around the world.

SuperPower 2G HTS wire was selected for use in the world’s first resistive superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL) based on 2G HTS materials. In a January 13, 2012 announcement, Nexans SuperConductors GmbH of Huerth, Germany, indicated that the SFCL had been installed at a power plant in Germany to provide short-circuit protection for the power supply that feeds coal mills and crushers. In January 2012 Nexans conducted live testing of a new SFCL device featuring 2G wires. These 2G wires reduce the already low losses in the conductor material by around 90%, thereby lowering operating costs and also providing an even faster response to a short circuit than 1G HTS materials used in an earlier device. In close collaboration with Nexans, SuperPower’s FCL wire configuration, based on a 100 micron thick Hastelloy substrate with high resistivity, was selected for this demanding FCL application.

In another German project, Oswald Elektromotoren GmbH of Miltenberg, Germany, has selected SuperPower 2G HTS wire for a superconducting motor project. The higher power density of HTS wire results in a smaller and lighter motor with increased efficiency and extended device lifetime. SuperPower’s Advanced Pinning (AP) wire which exhibits enhanced critical current performance at a range of operating conditions, also contributes to the reduction of ac losses, a major concern in motor applications.

A research team at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University in Tallahassee reached a another new world record in magnetic field generation in October 2011, successfully testing a superconducting electromagnet to a field of 35.4 Tesla. The new record was achieved with a layer-wound insert magnet constructed with a single piece of SuperPower 2G HTS wire approximately 100 meters in length. NHMFL “nested” a YBCO coil inside a 31 Tesla resistive magnet with an “insert” YBCO coil supplying the additional 4.4 Tesla.

In another research magnet application, the world’s first use of HTS magnets on a tokamak was announced in October 2011 with a groundbreaking experiment by Fusion research company Tokamak Solutions, with partners at Oxford Instruments, the Czech Technical University and Institute of Plasma Physics in Prague, leading the way to faster development of fusion. High temperature superconductors conduct electricity with zero resistance, even with simple cooling by liquid nitrogen; and they can withstand high magnetic fields and huge current densities and it  now appears that they continue to be superconducting throughout the plasma pulse in a tokamak. It has long been known that HTS could play an important role in the future of tokamak fusion research, but this is the first time they have actually been used for magnetic field coils on a tokamak.

In addition to addressing customer price and performance expectations, a much deeper understanding of mechanical and performance requirements for the 2G HTS wire has resulted from the close collaboration between SuperPower and device manufacturers. Each type of device has its own unique requirements that are based on the system’s operating conditions. HTS cables, for example, operate at about 70K, whereas rotating machinery derives additional performance benefits when operating at lower temperatures in the range of 50-65K and with a background magnetic field.

SuperPower offers three unique varieties of 2G HTS wire, each for a distinct device type,” said Traute F. Lehner, senior director for marketing and government affairs at SuperPower. “These include Cable Formulation (CF) wire for cable and similar applications; Advanced Pinning (AP) wire for in-magnetic-field applications such as motors, generators and other high-field magnetics; and Fault Current Limiter (FCL) wire based on a highly resistive substrate suitable for these grid protection devices.

"SuperPower’s unique manufacturing processes allow for wire customization,” Mrs. Lehner continued. “We are able to vary the chemical formulation of our superconductor material, as well a number of the wire dimensions in order to impact wire performance. Thickness of substrate and stabilizer layers, for example, can be adjusted as needed, insulation can be added and low resistance joints can be included in order to increase total piece length."

Formed in 2000 to focus on the development and commercialization of 2G HTS wire, SuperPower Inc. was acquired by Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. on February 3, 2012. SuperPower is one of only two companies in the world with the capability for commercial production of 2G HTS wire today. Furukawa Electric plans to aggressively grow both its and SuperPower's business in the markets of the globally-expanding smart grid, alternative energy and industrial sectors by providing superconducting wire, as well as developing applied superconductor devices.

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Contact:
Traute F. Lehner, SuperPower
Tel: (518) 346-1414 ext. 3070
E-mail: tlehner@superpower-inc.com

About SuperPower
SuperPower, a subsidiary of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. (TSE:5801; TYO:5801), was formed in March 2000 to develop and commercialize high temperature superconductor (HTS) technology for applications that benefit from high energy density, high magnetic fields and green attributes, including energy, medical, transportation, research and other sectors. To learn more, visit www.superpower-inc.com

 

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
SuperPower Inc. is subsidiary
of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
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