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Accelerating Advanced Superconductor Manufacturing

Accelerating Advanced Superconductor Manufacturing

Goal: Develop an industry-wide consortium roadmapping effort to overcome the technological obstacles and accelerate growth of commercial manufacturing of high-temperature superconductors.

 

Background:  High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) have the potential to provide multiple commercial solutions to a variety of sectors in the U.S. economy such as energy, defense, industrial applications, communications, and medicine. 

For example, in the energy sector HTS devices have the potential to accelerate the introduction of smart grid hardware applications and improve sustainability through enhanced energy efficiency, less emissions, better power quality, and improved resiliency and security of the power grid.  Superconducting devices do not simply provide improvements over conventional technologies; they provide unique solutions to challenges that cannot be achieved otherwise.  Meeting the challenges to growth of commercial HTS can yield significant economic and environmental advantages.

Approach:  The Advanced Superconductor Manufacturing Institute (ASMI) at the University of Houston held several workshops with over 50 organizations representing the industry, including manufacturers, end users, academics, and national laboratories.

The workshops assessed the challenges, barriers, aspirations, and risks of this technology in its many applications, which include power cables, rotating machinery, power grids, and magnets.  Goals of the project were to: 1. enable an industry-driven consortium to assess technological challenges; 2. address the "missing middle" in advanced HTS innovation to bridge the gap between manufacturing of prototypes and full-scale commercialization; 3. produce a roadmap for the industry and a business model for ASMI; and 4. expedite the transition of superconductor manufacturing to commercialization through cost reduction, high-volume production, reliability assurance, and effective integration into the existing infrastructure.

Outcome:  The consortium developed an industry-wide roadmap to address the technological barriers to growth of high-temperature semiconductor commercial manufacturing, while addressing the entire value chain and broad range of superconductor applications.  The roadmap identified the following targeted industry goals to mitigate the primary barriers to widespread commercial applications of HTS technology, including wire availability, wire cost, wire performance, and wire reliability:

 
  • Achieve a 10‐fold increase in manufacturing throughput, with negligible increase in capital costs
  • Develop in‐line quality control and process control tools for real‐time detection of yield‐limiting problems to improve yield of kilometer‐long wires from single digits to over 90%
  • Develop innovative manufacturing equipment and process technologies for production of fine multi-filamentary superconductor wires in lengths of 1000 meters to achieve 10- to 50‐fold reduction in AC losses
  • Develop cryogenic technologies that are long life, low maintenance, and low cost
  • Conduct reliability testing and standards development to accelerate new superconductor products for industry, promote interoperability, and incentivize entry into the market

Lead: University of Houston, Advanced Superconductor Manufacturing Institute

Funded Participants: Energetics, Inc.
Award Number:  70NANB15H066
Federal Funding:  $499,895
Project Duration:  18 months
AMTech Project Manager: Thomas R. Lettieri

More informationhttp://superasmi.com

Created June 21, 2018, Updated February 23, 2019