Superconducting R&D wire achieves major milestone

May 07, 2004

Using improved processing equipment developed with support from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Advanced Technology Program, American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) has produced lengths of record-breaking high-temperature superconductor (HTS) wire.

The company recently announced that it achieved electric current carrying capacity in multiple 10-meter lengths of second-generation (2G) HTS wire equal to or better than 250 Amperes per centimeter of width, an industrial world record that approaches performance levels required for commercial applications. The company's 2G results were achieved through a reel-to-reel liquid deposition production process that has been designed to be scalable to high-volume, low-cost manufacturing.

Large-scale use of 2G HTS wire carrying high amperage electrical current with virtually no resistance promises dramatic gains in energy efficiency. Today about 10 percent of transmitted electricity is wasted, largely due to resistance. The new technology also can increase the efficiency of large electric motors by as much as 50 percent and enable smaller, more powerful magnetic resonance imaging machines for medicine.

The 2G wires will cost less than first-generation HTS wire. AMSC received ATP support to develop a large-scale continuous-process reaction furnace for producing 100-meter lengths of 2G HTS ribbon, a key element for practical commercial production of the wire.

More information on the AMSC 2G HTS wire project and a white paper on the technology may be found on the company's Web site: www.amsuper.com.
-end-


National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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