Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Super-conductors for the industry

08.10.2008
Super conductors are materials that conduct current without resistance.

For this reason, this field of research has always generated enormous interest, and considerable resources are utilised on techniques that can transform these materials into good energy conductors in technical components.

Increased efficiency
Magne Runde and Niklas Magnusson at SINTEF have super conductivity as a field of research, and are testing out super conductors in the huge induction heaters utilised by the aluminium industry.

Today the industry preheats huge meter-long aluminium cylinders known as billets in induction heaters with copper conductors. When the temperature reaches 500 °C, the billet is extruded to profiles.

“This heating process leads to large losses in energy,” says Runde. “Only half the energy supplied is used to heat the billet. The remaining 50 percent is waste energy. This is something super conductors can improve.”

World’s largest
The research scientists have now replaced the copper conductors in the induction coils with super conductors. As the conductivity is significantly improved, a much higher proportion of the energy is transferred to the billet. The two research scientists have conducted laboratory tests that confirm the energy efficiency is increased to 80-90 percent.

In the basement laboratory, Magnusson and Runde proudly show the two large super conducting coils, with a 1.5m diameter. The super conducting material, magnesium diboride, is in thin, brittle filaments enclosed by a nickel matrix.

“These will be the world’s largest super conducting coils made from this special material,” says Runde.

Generating interest
In 2007, the German company Zenergy Power licensed a patent based on SINTEF’s basic idea. The company has acted quickly and produced two heaters, which it has sold. The concept of super-conducting induction heaters was awarded a prize worth Euro 100,000 at this year’s Hannover trade fair.

Magnusson and Runde have continued with the research in a parallel and competing race with Zenergy Power. In an EU project with eight other partners, SINTEF now has a model under construction that is expected to be cheaper than the German model. In this model, the Trondheim research scientists designed and built the super conducting coils.

“We have deliberately kept a low profile to see if Zenergy Power succeeded in building a complete model,” says Magnusson. “We now believe the time is right to mark that it is in fact a SINTEF invention behind the product.”

With around 500 extrusion lines in Europe, the super conductors will be a typical niche product. However, given that the industry stands to make energy savings of up to NOK 1 million for such induction heaters, the energy researchers believe there is a market for the product.

Aase Dragland | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sintef.com
http://www.sintef.no

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Waste from paper and pulp industry supplies raw material for development of new redox flow batteries
12.10.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Low-cost battery from waste graphite
11.10.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Study shows how water could have flowed on 'cold and icy' ancient Mars

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Navigational view of the brain thanks to powerful X-rays

18.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>