Zenergy Power PLC Recieves Core Patent For High Temperature Superconductive Materials

January 16, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Zenergy Power plc, a specialist manufacturer and developer of commercial applications for high-temperature superconductive (‘HTS’) materials, announced that it has been granted a core patent in relation to the low-cost industrial manufacture of 2nd Generation (‘2G’) HTS materials and wire in Germany. The company claims that this patent is of particular significance to its long-term commercial competitiveness as it protects a unique process eliminating the use of harmful fluoride compounds during the manufacture of 2G HTS materials, which is said to deliver not only environmental benefits to the group’s processes but also significant cost savings.

Subject to a number of years of investment and development, the group’s process is said to deliver cost savings to its manufacturing operations by both reducing the required amount of high cost raw materials used in the production of 2G materials, and by negating the need to carry out costly re-capturing and treatment processes associated with the release of toxic materials during processing. Zenergy claims that it is leading an industry drive to bring down the material cost of HTS materials to below that of copper materials. Accordingly, it claims to developing an ‘all-chemical’ manufacturing process that for the first time enables the production of 2G wire in a continual industrial process as opposed to alternative batch processes being pursued by other industry participants.

From a commercial perspective, this patent is also of particular significance to safeguarding the long-term value of the group’s ongoing development activities with two of its commercial partners within the field of renewable energy production. To date, Zenergy has entered into two 5-year exclusive arrangements with Converteam SAS (formerly Alstom Power Conversion) and ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH for the development of a new generation of renewable power generators and their 2G HTS components respectively. It is the expectation of the group and its partners that through this development work it will be capable of reducing the overall cost of the production of offshore wind power by around 25%.

Converteam has been working within a United Kingdom Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform project to develop an 8MW direct-drive wind power generator based on Zenergy’s HTS coils and components. Said to be the first of its type in the world, the 8MW machine will be powered by Zenergy’s patented HTS materials and components, which the company claims result in considerable weight and energy efficiency advantages over conventional copper-based wind power generators. Once this product has been developed and deployed it is estimated that Zenergy’s addressable market for its HTS components within the wind power and hydro power markets will be worth in excess of ae2.6 billion per year.

Dr. Jens Müller, Group CEO, commented, "This patent is of particular significance to the long-term commercial potential of HTS products as it covers a process that, when coupled with our groundbreaking ‘all-chemical’ production techniques, will help us deliver significant cost savings to the mass-production of HTS materials and components. It is our firm belief that these cost benefits will play a major role in the mass adoption of HTS products by national utility companies, industrial businesses and household consumers alike as they seek to gain from the significant energy savings and efficiencies delivered by unique ability of HTS materials to conduct electricity without resistance. We have a number of ongoing development projects that continue to progress towards commercialisation and I look forward to reporting on these throughout the course of this year.’