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March 19, 2010

High Temperature Superconductor Status and Future Prospects

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1. Summarized benefits of second generation high temperature superconducting wire and devices Superpower inc believes that with the vortex pinning properties of YCBO and the grain boundary properties of BSCCO 2212 that it could be possible at colder temperatures to achieve magnets with over 100 Tesla in field strength. A graph below illustrates the temperatures and field strength that could be possible with YCBO superconductors. This review is not looking at what could be possible with major breakthroughs in superconductor science which could lead to a new generation of superconductors with even higher field strength and room temperature operation.


One of the most exciting and transformational aspects of 2G HTS conductors is that they simultaneously do two things – first they remove the hard limit of about 24 Tesla that any existing superconductor permits, at least doubling the field, and second they allow generation of fields up to 10 T at temperatures up to at least 55 K, thus finally freeing superconducting magnets from the liquid helium domain. At the National Magnet Lab, we have already shown, in collaboration with SuperPower, how to raise the capability of superconductors to almost 34 Tesla, almost 50% higher than ever before. More broadly 2G HTS superconducts to 5 times the temperature of the best Niobium-based low temperature conductor, enabling a much simpler refrigerator-based magnet technology.

This superior performance in high magnetic fields, along with the wire’s light weight and high current density, has important implications in the aerospace industry as well. SuperPower's 2G HTS wire is a critical ingredient in the successful development of Ad Astra's VASIMR engine.



SuperPower, Inc. celebrated its 10-year anniversary today with the opening of a new exhibit on superconductivity at the Schenectady Museum and Suits-Bueche Planetarium in Schenectady, New York. The exhibition details the company’s accomplishments that include successful scale-up of second-generation (2G) high-temperature superconductor (HTS) wire production at SuperPower’s manufacturing facility in Schenectady, the world’s first in-grid demonstration of 2G HTS wire at the Albany HTS Cable Project, development work in the superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL) device that improves power quality and grid reliability, achievement of world-record magnetic field strengths in magnet coils, and ongoing efforts to demonstrate the technology in other fields.

The electric power industry is a principal application area for high temperature superconductors with benefits that include improved efficiency in power transmission and distribution brought about by a 60-70% reduction in resistive power losses, reduction of carbon footprint, very high power transmission capability at reduced voltages, reduction of device size and weight, and improved aesthetics.

2. Transformational Opportunities of YBCO/REBCO for Magnet Technology (15 page pdf)








3. Burned Rice Husk: An Effective Additive for Enhancing the Electromagnetic Properties of MgB2 Superconductor
We investigated the effect of doping of burned rice husk which contains ultrafine SiO2 and highly reactive carbon, on the crystal lattice and superconducting properties of MgB2 superconductor prepared by an in situ powder in sealed tube method. XRD, TEM, and magnetic measurements confirm the substitution of carbon atoms at boron sites in the MgB2 lattice and the formation of intragrain nanoinclusions in MgB2. From JC (H) characteristics, doped samples show a drastic enhancement of JC compared with pure MgB2. The enhancement of in-field JC values is due to the flux pinning on lattice defects produced by C substitution and nanoscale inclusions of impurity phases.


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