SuperPower 2G HTS Wire Ranking at 2005 US DOE Peer Review

SuperPower 2G HTS Wire Ranking at 2005 US DOE Peer Review


Intermagnetics' SuperPower Subsidiary Receives 2005 Annual U.S. DOE Peer Review Ranking for Second-Generation HTS Wire Program 

  • Program Is Ranked No. 2, After Government Lab 
  • Performance, Plans, Results, and Research Integration Considered World-Class By The Reviewers
  • Well-Constructed Plan For Reaching 2G Commercialization 
  • Well-Trained Materials Scientists and Engineers

Schenectady, NY — SuperPower presented the results of its latest 12-month effort to scale up second generation (2G) high temperature superconducting (HTS) wire to commercial production at the August 2005 Department of Energy (DOE) Annual Peer Review. This year SuperPower received a number two ranking among eight HTS wire programs reviewed by the DOE, outranked only by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), a DOE national laboratory that provides testing services on HTS wire samples produced by other laboratories and companies including SuperPower.

SuperPower’s wire program was said to be a “strategically well planned and executed scale up of 2G conductor manufacturing technology to pilot manufacturing” with excellent use of national labs and universities. Reviewers cited SuperPower’s strengths in materials science and manufacturing, and called the plan for reaching 2G commercialization well-constructed, while also characterizing the staff of materials scientists and engineers as well-trained. With a score of 92.9, SuperPower has received its highest score yet at the annual gathering of organizations working on superconductivity research and demonstration projects funded through the DOE.

Among the list of achievements SuperPower was able to report:

  • World record performance of more than 100 amperes in a 206 meter length of 2G HTS wire, or 22,000 amp-Meter performance. 
  • Production of new 2G wire that is about 35 to 50 percent thinner than previous wire, made possible by reducing the thickness of the substrates by 50 percent. These are now the thinnest substrates used anywhere in the world, allowing a greater quantity of thinner wire to be packed into the same space, providing more efficient coils for motor, generator and transformer applications. 
  • Successful fabrication of this thinner 2G wire into a prototype electrical coil by Los Alamos National Laboratory to demonstrate the mechanical durability of the conductor without any degradation in critical current. 
  • Completion of delivery to SEI of 207 meters of the new, thin 2G wire in a 4 mm width with a copper stabilizer and an average critical current of 140 A/cm. 
  • Fabrication by SEI of a demonstration one-meter long 2G cable, proving lower ac losses and high current carrying capacity from 113 meters of 4 mm wide, copper-stabilized 2G wire delivered by SuperPower. 
  • Fabrication by SuperPower of new coils using SuperPower’s 2G wire were supplied to Rockwell for an HTS motor that operated at 6 times higher power than for a similar demonstration about one year ago. The resulting motor was run at 40 Amps and achieved 7.5 hp in a conventional 5 hp motor frame. 
  • Fabrication by SuperPower of an electrical coil using 20 meters of SuperPower’s 2G wire to demonstrate the capability of the wire to produce high magnetic fields at liquid nitrogen temperatures, which is not possible with 1G wire. 
  • Demonstration of the advantages of SuperPower’s surround stabilizer configuration for high-voltage applications from dielectric test results obtained from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 
  • Demonstration of 1 mm wide 2G wire, four times narrower than wire made by any other organization. Narrow conductor is preferred for low ac losses in military and several commercial applications.
  • Demonstration of the twisting of 1 mm wide conductor to form a stranded, multi-wire conductor for the first time. 
  • Demonstration for the first time of high-throughput 2G wire fabrication in every process step. Linear tape speeds equivalent to 30 meters/hour of 4 mm wide conductor were used to produce long length, high-performance 2G wire. High linear tape speeds would enable long single piece lengths of 2G wire.

Reviewers commented that “performance is far beyond expectation” and noted that “the company has clearly made some significant changes in its processing of the superconducting material,” leading to “a host of new and exciting results.” Cited by the panel were “undisputed world-record results,” with “MOCVD continuing to show very promising results.”

Glenn H. Epstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Intermagnetics, said, “Of particular significance are the comments about SuperPower’s record on research integration with, not only the DOE national labs, but also with a variety of universities and DOD organizations such as NAVSEA, NRL and AFRL. This serves to validate SuperPower’s philosophy of teaming with experts in the field to increase the likelihood of successful project outcomes.”

“Following on our previous demonstration of SuperPower’s ability to fabricate 2G wire in short lengths, we have continued to focus on the achievement of commercial manufacturing capability by pursuing the fabrication of high-quality 2G wire in continuous long lengths, now surpassing 200 meters,” said Philip J. Pellegrino, president of SuperPower. “At the same time, we have continued our development of a product suitable for a variety of applications by focusing on critical mechanical properties, electrical stabilization, ac losses, magnetic field performance and device-suitable dimensions. SuperPower’s manufacturing process is focused on obtaining high throughput in every processing step.”

Reviewers mentioned that “attention to these details is a good indicator for the company, and indirectly suggests that they are attending to the many details that are critical for program success,” and further noted that “The company is motivated to come to market as quickly as possible.”

While overall program progress was deemed positive, it was recognized that product performance over long lengths is not yet optimal, and that further work is needed on process quality control and repeatability.

For access to the various presentations included in the 2005 Annual DOE Peer Review, please visit the following page on the DOE website: 

Traute F. Lehner
Communications/Government Relations Specialist
SuperPower, Inc.
(518) 346-1414 ext. 3070

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