SuperPower reports recent achievements at annual U.S. Department of Energy Peer Review


SuperPower reports recent achievements at annual U.S. Department of Energy Peer Review

  • World-record 1,311 meter length of complete wire produced
  • Albany Cable project achieves successful completion
  • SuperPower wire demonstrated to be best material for fault current limiter technology


Schenectady, N.Y. – SuperPower, Inc. last week reported a number of new milestone achievements and world-record performance at the 2008 U. S. Department of Energy (DoE) Annual Peer Review of Superconductivity for Electric Systems held in Arlington, Virginia from July 28-31, 2008. SuperPower communicated a number of significant new achievements in product performance, length, availability, price and enhanced product configurations.

Significant advances in product performance and wire length
SuperPower chief technology officer, Dr. Venkat Selvamanickam, reported: “We have now successfully produced the world’s first kilometer long complete second-generation (2G) high-temperature superconducting (HTS) wire with a 1,311 meter long segment fabricated at our manufacturing plant in Schenectady, New York. The wire carried a minimum current of 153 amperes (A), resulting in a world-record wire performance of 200,580 amp-meters.  This exceeds our previous world record of 158,950 reported in March 2008.” 

Amp-meter is a common measure of HTS wire performance achieved by multiplying critical current-carrying capacity in amperes by length in meters. Selvamanickam added, “It is also important to note that this world-record wire, as is the case with all wire manufactured at SuperPower, was produced at high speeds throughout all of our processing steps and exhibits excellent uniformity over long lengths. Also, a minimum critical current of 200 amperes per centimeter (A/cm) was achieved over a 945 meter segment of this wire which, by itself, is a world record of 189,000 amp-meters.”

SuperPower also reported new developments in key areas of interest to customers, including:
• dramatic improvements in in-field wire performance through a new chemical doping formula implemented in the superconductor deposition process. In-field performance is key for various applications such as magnets, rotating machinery, SMES, maglev, and is one of the primary advantages of 2G wire over 1G wire. This processing enhancement has resulted in a more than two to two and a half times improvement in critical current results. A critical current of 229 A/cm was achieved at 77 Kelvin and 1 Tesla and 340 A/cm was achieved at 65 Kelvin and 3 Tesla, both of which are twice as high as that reported in 2007.
• routine production of complete five-layer buffer wire templates in lengths of 1,300 to 1,500 meters with excellent and uniform in-plane texture. These wire templates are then processed into the final 2G HTS wire product with the addition of the superconductor layer and other post-processing steps that include slitting into application-specific widths, copper coating, insulation and other custom configurations.
• development of an industrial-scale process to produce a multifilamentary wire that is important for applications such as motors, generators, and transformers, where the limitation of alternating current (ac) losses is critical. SuperPower is now able to produce 15 meter lengths of this new wire configuration in a continuous process.
• production of long lengths of wire that include consistently high quality and mechanically robust joints and splices.
• installation of a system to add insulation to the wire in response to customer requirements for adhesive and non-adhesive insulation in both 4 and 12 mm wide wires.
• continued improvement in wire pricing has been achieved through cost reduction efforts that include processing of longer wire lengths, improved product yield through rigorous quality control measures, and improved vendor costs.
• the receipt of two National Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) awards, one for the successful transfer of ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) technology in conjunction with Los Alamos National Laboratory and the other for the successful transfer of buffer technology from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. FLC awards are made annually to recognize excellence in the transfer of technology from national laboratories to industry resulting in successful commercial products.

SuperPower marks successful completion of Albany HTS Cable Project
Previously reported in June 2008, SuperPower reported to the Peer Review that all objectives of the Albany HTS Cable Project have been successfully met or exceeded, demonstrating that its technology can be operated reliably on a utility network. More information can be found at Press Releases Page .

“In December 2006 SuperPower delivered 9,700 meters of wire for the Albany HTS Cable Project.”, said SuperPower general manager, Arthur P. Kazanjian. “This remains the world’s single largest delivery of 2G HTS wire.  Since that time SuperPower 2G HTS wire has gained worldwide recognition and acceptance among customers for a wide variety of applications in the fields of energy technology, medical technology, scientific research, transportation and others. During the past year, we have seen a five-fold increase in wire orders to commercial, academic, and research organizations around the world.”

“Projects such as this one are demonstrating that high temperature superconductivity technologies have the potential to play a critical role in modernizing our electric infrastructure and ensuring the stable and affordable delivery of electricity to our homes and businesses”, said Patricia Hoffman, deputy assistant secretary for electricity delivery and energy reliability at the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE). “The development and deployment of superconductivity and other advanced energy technologies are critical to the Bush Administration’s ongoing efforts to increase efficiency and reliability in our nation’s energy delivery infrastructure and to enhance our overall national energy security.”

Progress made in the Superconducting Fault Current Limiter (SFCL) program
Reporting on the progress of the Superconducting Fault Current Limiter (SFCL) program underway at SuperPower, Charles Weber, director of HTS devices at SuperPower, said: “significant progress has been made in demonstrating that our 2G wire is the best material available for Fault Current Limiter (FCL) technology. We have proven that SuperPower’s 2G wires can withstand the tremendous thermal, mechanical and electrical forces present in the FCL application, including the ability of the HTS material to recover to the superconducting state while carrying load current. This capability enables the utility customer to keep the device online while it recovers to the low impedance state after a fault. We believe we are the only organization in the world to have demonstrated this capability to date.” Weber added, “the flexibility of our matrix design concept to scale to virtually any voltage and current permutation, in combination with the robust capabilities of our 2G wire products, position SuperPower to be at the forefront of HTS fault current limiter technology.”

Kazanjian noted, “Our customers are telling us that the need for FCL technology exists today. We continue to look for opportunities to bring this product to market at an accelerated pace.”

The SFCL project is being funded by the DOE and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), along with project partners, SuperPower, Sumitomo Electric Industries and host utility American Electric Power (AEP). 

Further detail about these update reports are available on the SuperPower website at Technical Documents.



Traute F. Lehner, SuperPower
Tel:  (518) 346-1414 ext. 3070

About SuperPower
SuperPower, Inc. is a subsidiary of Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI), following Philips’ November 2006 acquisition of Intermagnetics General Corporation. SuperPower was formed in March 2000 to provide a strong focus for the development and commercialization of HTS technology for technologies that benefit from high energy density, high magnetic fields and environmental benefits, including energy, medical, transportation, research and other sectors. To learn more, visit

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