SuperPower Approaches Commercial Viability for 2G HTS Wire

SuperPower Approaches Commercial Viability for 2G HTS Wire
01/19/2005

 

Intermagnetics Subsidiary approaches Commercial Viability for Second-Generation HTS Wire with New Performance Milestone

  • SuperPower Achieves 10,050 Amp-Meters in 2G HTS Wire, Breaking its July 2004 Record Performance
  • Breakthrough Obtained with High Throughput, Low Cost Deposition Process
  • Remains on Target for Scale-Up to Commercial Manufacturing in 2006

Latham, NY - Intermagnetics General Corporation’s (NASDAQ: IMGC) Energy Technology subsidiary, SuperPower, Inc., today announced it has broken its July 2004 performance record by achieving critical current performance of 103.7 amperes per centimeter width in a nearly 100-meter second-generation (2G) high temperature superconducting (HTS) wire. This corresponds to a performance of 10,050 amp-meters, surpassing SuperPower’s world-record breaking 7,000 amp-meter performance announced at the 2004 DOE Peer Review meeting. Amp-meter is a common measure of HTS wire performance achieved by multiplying critical current carrying capacity in amperes by length in meters. SuperPower announced the breakthrough at the Department of Energy (DOE) Wire Development Workshop in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“Achieving better than 10,000 amp-meter performance propels SuperPower past an important threshold as we approach our fundamental objective of consistent production of commercially viable HTS technology,” said Glenn H. Epstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Intermagnetics. “The 100-meter length is considered a key parameter to enable utilizing HTS wire in device applications. We continue to be on track for commercial viability before the end of 2005 and full scale production in 2006.”

Philip J. Pellegrino, president of SuperPower, added: “It is particularly significant that this new milestone was achieved with wire produced by SuperPower’s proprietary MOCVD (metal organic chemical vapor deposition) process. We believe our MOCVD process is capable of producing wire at a much higher throughput than competing processes, which we expect will result in a competitive advantage. We have obtained significant and encouraging improvements in the stability of the process, as well as uniformity of performance.”

“MOCVD technology has been employed in semiconductor wafer batch fabrication for decades, so it is not new. However, we believe we are the first to adapt it to this extent for

the continuous reel-to-reel process used to deposit the superconducting material referred to as ‘YBCO’ in the fabrication of 2G wire. Aside from high throughput, our patent-applied MOCVD technology exhibits low capital equipment cost, and is both modular and scalable,” Pellegrino said.

In addition to announcing this new performance milestone at the DOE Wire Development Workshop, Pellegrino also noted that SuperPower achieved critical currents of greater than 400 amperes in short samples, 265 amperes over 1 meter and 200 amperes over 8 meters. The critical currents indicated are per centimeter width and all the wires were produced with MOCVD.

SuperPower’s 2G HTS wire development effort has received consistent funding from the DOE since 2000. The company also has Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) with several of the National Laboratories, including a two-year, $3.4 million CRADA with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to scale up second generation HTS technology to manufacturing. The program is also jointly funded under Title III of the Defense Production Act by DOE and the U. S. Department of Defense (DOD).

The award of a new $3 million contract to SuperPower for the development of AC loss tolerant 2G wire by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in Dayton, Ohio was announced by Intermagnetics in November 2004. Prior to that contract, SuperPower had a three-year, $2.4 million Dual Use Science and Technology (DUST) contract, which AFRL funded at 50 percent cost share.

Dr. Paul Barnes, superconductivity group leader at AFRL, said "Second generation HTS wire is expected to be a critical component for airborne high power generators, as well as in naval applications such as the all electric ship. We are pleased with the progress SuperPower has demonstrated with its MOCVD process technology, in part as a result of its collaborative efforts with the Air Force. The consistent improvement in performance being achieved with 2G HTS wire provides confidence that a reliable domestic supply of 2G HTS wire can be available for a variety of military applications.”

SuperPower, Inc. (www.superpower-inc.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intermagnetics General Corporation, uses core capabilities in materials, cryogenics and magnetics to develop state-of-the-art second-generation HTS wire and electric power components such as underground transmission and distribution cables, transformers and fault current limiters.

Intermagnetics (www.intermagnetics.com) draws on the financial strength, operational excellence and technical leadership in its expanding business of Medical Devices that encompasses Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems & 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 & 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.

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