SuperPower Sets New World Record in 2G HTS Wire Performance

SuperPower Sets New World Record in 2G HTS Wire Performance
08/03/2005

 

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

  • Achieves More Than 22,000 Amp-Meters In 206 Meter Long 2G HTS Wire
  • Other Project And Technology Milestones Reported Today At Annual Department Of Energy Peer Review

Latham, NY — Intermagnetics General Corporation’s (NASDAQ: IMGC) Energy Technology subsidiary, SuperPower, Inc., today announced that it has achieved world record performance of more than 100 amperes in a 206 meter length of second-generation (2G) high-temperature superconducting (HTS) wire. This 22,000 amp-meter performance more than doubles the performance announced by SuperPower in January 2005, and improves on the previous world record set by a Japanese company by nearly 2,000 amp-meters. “Amp-meter” is a common measure of HTS wire performance achieved by multiplying critical current carrying capacity in amperes by length in meters.

Glenn H. Epstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Intermagnetics, said, “The increase in piece lengths of 2G wire beyond the 100 meter threshold is of particular significance as we work toward product commercialization and development of devices incorporating 2G wire. This latest achievement by the SuperPower team keeps us firmly on the path toward producing ever longer, high-performing HTS wire for a broadening range of applications.”

Dean Peterson, leader of the Superconductivity Technology Center at the Los Alamos National Laboratory added, “Our long-standing partnership with SuperPower is resulting in significant improvements in both the manufacturing process and product quality. Commercial viability is now within our reach.”

SuperPower also announced that site construction at the HTS Cable Project in Albany, New York, continues to progress according to schedule. Philip J. Pellegrino, president of SuperPower, noted that, “The equipment and controls building, underground ductwork and termination vaults, and the cryogenic refrigeration system are all substantially completed. The first phase of the cable fabricated by Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) is expected to arrive at the North Albany Service Center site of Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid Company, in September for installation.”

In addition to today’s announcement of the world record at the 2005 DOE Peer Review this week in Washington, D.C., Pellegrino noted the following additional accomplishments, all geared toward producing a practical conductor and prototype devices:

  1. SuperPower’s new 2G wire is about 35 to 50 percent thinner than previous wire. This was made possible by reducing the thickness of the substrates by 50 percent. These are now the thinnest substrates used anywhere in the world. A greater quantity of this thinner wire can now be packed into the same space, providing more efficient coils for motor, generator and transformer applications.
  2. Los Alamos National Laboratory successfully fabricated this thinner 2G wire supplied by SuperPower into a prototype electrical coil to demonstrate the mechanical durability of the conductor without any degradation in critical current.
  3. 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 has been completed.
  4. Delivery of 113 meters of 4 mm wide, copper-stabilized 2G wire to SEI was fabricated into a demonstration one meter long 2G cable, proving lower ac losses and higher current carrying capacity.
  5. New coils fabricated with 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.
  6. SuperPower fabricated an electrical coil using 20 meters of 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.
  7. Dielectric test results obtained from Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrate the advantages of SuperPower’s surround stabilizer configuration for high-voltage applications.
  8. 1 mm wide 2G wire has been demonstrated. This is 4 times narrower than wire made by any other organization. Narrow conductor is preferred for low ac losses in military and several commercial applications. Further, SuperPower demonstrated twisting of the 1 mm wide conductor to form a stranded, multi-wire conductor for the first time.
  9. High-throughput 2G wire fabrication in every process step has been demonstrated for the first time. 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.

Pellegrino said, “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. 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.”

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 the market of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as well as its expanding businesses within Medical Devices that encompass Invivo Diagnostic Imaging (focusing on MRI components & imaging sub-systems) and Invivo Patient Care (focusing on monitoring & other patient care devices). Intermagnetics is also 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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