American Superconductor Achieves Performance Levels Required for Commercial Electromagnetic Coils

August 29, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

American Superconductor Corp. announced that it has achieved levels of magnetic, electrical, thermal and mechanical performance required for commercial electromagnetic coils utilizing its proprietary second generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire. Electromagnetic coils are the core component of virtually all electrical products beyond power cables.

This is the first time these commercial performance levels have been achieved using AMSC's 2G wire. The company accomplished these results using a new three-ply, 4.8-mm wide wire, branded as 348 superconductors. This achievement paves the way for more cost-effective HTS motors and generators, SuperVAR® grid reliability solutions and many other coil-based electric power products that are of comparable or lower cost than traditional, copper-based solutions. The company plans to offer 348 superconductors for sale in 2007.

The results of multiple tests on coils of varying configurations confirmed that American Superconductor's 348 superconductors have achieved commercial-grade performance levels in electromagnetic coils - in all cases meeting or exceeding the strength, durability, and electrical current capabilities of commercial first generation (1G)HTS wire.

"This latest accomplishment, following so quickly on the heels of last month's breakthrough in electricity with our HTS wire, continues our very rapid progress in developing 2G products to meet broad industry requirements," said Greg Yurek, CEO of American Superconductor. "The wide range of industries this new technology has the potential to impact is staggering."

Tests showed that 348 superconductors with today's performance levels can already be utilized to produce a 36.5-MW (49,000 horsepower) HTS ship propulsion motor capable of operating at 38 degrees Kelvin - eight degrees higher than the operating temperature of the 36.5-MW ship propulsion motor that AMSC is shipping to the U.S. Navy this year, which utilizes the company's 1G HTS wire.