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 Fraunhofer ISE Supports Market Development of Solar Thermal Power Plants in the MENA Region
21.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

nachricht New tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times fast
20.02.2018 | University of Warwick

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: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>