Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Coil of superconducting wire
Prototype magnets made from HTS wire are instrumented for stability measurements
In the almost two decades since R&D began on high-temperature superconductors, much progress has been made as is illustrated by a timeline created by the Department of Energy (PDF 3.35MB).
There is still much progress to be made in the development of high-temperature superconducting power equipment such as cables, fault current limiters, transformers, wires, and films. Consider the following challenges:
ORNL researchers have outstanding depth of experience in the fabrication and characterization of power equipment, wires, and films. We can analyze and characterize properties-- mechanically, electrically, and microstructurally. In the process of developing super-conducting films and wires, we're working to improve their performance using new materials and processes.
For superconductors to move to market, they must be supported by appropriate technologies: cryogenics, refrigeration, and insulation. Early applications in electric utilities include current limiters and long transmission lines.
As superconducting materials are refined, developing devices that will use them becomes even more important. ORNL researchers are already exploring potential applications: Superlattices, artificially structured multilayers of thin film, developed here may find use in detectors. Coils for use in energy storage, motors, generators, and electric distribution equipment are being designed and tested.
Last modified on
July 17, 2008 9:36 AM