Editor’s note: This is a significant announcement because successful superconducting equipment would allow building smaller generators with higher outputs than current technology allows for wind turbines. This is a step in the right direction.
Superconductor Technologies Inc., a developer and producer of high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials and associated technologies, says it has recently received purchase orders from multiple customers for its Conductus 2G HTS wire. The backlog from these purchase orders along with other wire shipments that STI has committed to as of April 15, 2013 are expected to exhaust production capacity until at least the third quarter of 2013.
“Over the last quarter, we have experienced a significant increase in the number of customers placing orders for Conductus wire to complete their product evaluations,” stated Adam Shelton, STI’s VP of Marketing and Product Line Management. “Several industry leading, multinational companies have submitted purchase orders for wire to qualify in their product designs. This noticeable increase in demand is primarily from customers who are currently selling superconducting devices for emerging smart grid applications. With an embedded base in the legacy utility networks, our customers are well positioned to address the needs of the developing Smart Grid applications on a global scale.”
STI has been aligning its 2013 production output with requirements from strategic target customers committed to the commercialization of superconducting devices. Areas of high customer demand for smart grid devices include superconducting fault current limiters (SFCLs), high power transmission and distribution cables, and high-field magnets used in multiple applications.
“As we continue to achieve greater performance and produce longer lengths of Conductus wire, customers are securing the capacity to receive sufficient quantities to qualify and standardize Conductus wire for deployment in their devices. STI’s near-term capacity is driven by the output of our pilot production RCE-CDR equipment that is designed to produce up to 100 meter wire lengths of HTS wire. While kilometer length production remains necessary to attain the expected commercial quantities, many superconducting applications like SFCLs and high-field magnets utilize sub-100 meter lengths of HTS wire. Several superconducting device designs utilize hundreds of HTS coils that are stacked in columns to form a conductor bank,” says Shelton.
“Our RCE-CDR HTS wire manufacturing process provides the unique capability to produce Conductus wire in wide widths of up to 100 mm. While current wire suppliers can attain widths of 3 to 10 millimeters, our new pilot production equipment is capable of producing wire 10 times that width, which enables higher performance in the short lengths utilized for SFCL and other applications.”
Filed Under: Generators, News, Transformers