Superconducting Technology License Signed
SuperPower Inc., a Schenectady, N.Y., superconducting wire manufacturer, signed a license agreement to use an ORNL-developed technology that can lower the cost of producing superconducting wires for more efficient transmission of electricity.
The licensing agreement is part of a national effort led by the Department of Energy to research, develop and ultimately transfer energy technologies from DOE national laboratories to the global marketplace. Patricia Hoffman, DOE principal deputy assistant secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, said incorporating these high-temperature superconducting wires and power equipment into the nation's electric grid will help meet rapidly growing demand for energy in an energy-efficient, cost-effective manner.
At a press conference announcing the agreement, Hoffman said. "High-temperature superconductivity is a revolutionary and cross-cutting technology that can further the Administration's long-term effort to transform our nation's electricity infrastructure and provide a safe, reliable and affordable stream of electricity to all Americans."
Superconductors are special materials that have no electrical resistance at extremely low temperatures. Hightemperature superconductors, discovered in 1986, lose resistance at warmer temperatures than conventional superconductors, although the temperatures are still very cold.
Cooled by cheap and abundant liquid nitrogen, high-temperature superconductors can be used to make lighter, smaller, more efficient, higher capacity power devices; relieve congested power line networks and increase power transmission capacity.
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