SuperPower, ORNL and UH win R&D Award for ultra-high-performance HTS wires

Ultra-high-performance HTS wires developed in a research collaboration between SuperPower, Inc., Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Houston are the focus of a recent award given by R&D Magazine.

“Advanced pinning” wires, which “exhibit superior performance at various temperatures and in various magnetic fields,” placed in the top 100 most technologically significant new products according to R&D. The new technology creates non-superconducting columnar defects with nanoscale spacing within HTS wires. The defects actually improve the performance of the HTS wires by allowing large currents to flow through the materials at high applied magnetic fields. The unique features of the wire make it a good candidate for applications where lower temperatures and various background magnetic fields are present.  Motors, generators, and transformers could especially benefit from the advancement.

Dr. Dominic Lee, Superconductivity Program Manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, said in a SuperPower press release, “The close collaboration between team members is a perfect example of how R&D should be done – with a national laboratory serving as the bridge between academia and private industry.”

Both the US Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OEDER) and ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program provided funding for the research.

The award is scheduled to be presented on November 11, 2010 at the Gala Awards Banquet in Orlando FL. This is third R&D award that SuperPower has received in the last decade.