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:
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