Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New superconducting transformer is light and compact

20.02.2002


Researchers from the Technology Foundation STW and the University of Twente, in cooperation with Smit Transformatoren and Smit Draad, have developed a prototype coil for a superconducting transformer which is not only light and compact but also energy-efficient. A keen interest has already been expressed by several companies.



The coil is made from superconducting wires, insulated using a newly patented method. Furthermore, together with Smit Transformatoren the researchers have developed a method to wind coils from the fragile conductor.

The superconducting wires are manufactured from a ceramic material BSCCO (pronounced `bisko`). This so-called high-temperature superconductor only allows current to flow without resistance when the material is cooled to -196 degrees celcius. The new insulation had to be able to withstand such low temperatures. Therefore the researchers chose a polyimide-film.


A silver casing covers the thin filaments of the superconducting material to prevent them from breaking. Like the tape in an audio cassette, the superconductor is rectangular in cross-section, 4 mm wide and 0.3 mm thick. A conventional insulating technique with a coating would make the rectangular conductors unreliable because the coating on the sharp edges of the conductor would be too thin. As a result of this sparks could easily jump (discharge) and damage would be caused.

In order to prevent damage, the STW researchers developed an alternative insulating procedure. Together with Smit Draad they developed a method in which an insulating layer is folded lengthways around the superconducting tape. The insulation prevents discharges up to several kilovolts.

The method has already been implemented at the request of various companies. For example, the market leader ASC (American Superconductor Corporation) sells conductors which have been insulated by Smit Draad.

The research group anticipates various applications for compact and light superconducting devices in which the new superconducting coils and cables will play a role. The compact construction of the transformers makes their use in trains attractive. Also the superconducting cables could guarantee the energy supply to large users such as the computer industry or compact town centres. The high resistance of the current copper cables means that too much warmth is released during the transport of electricity.

The STW has signed a contract with Smit Draad for the use of knowledge obtained from the STW project.

Michel Philippens | alphagalileo

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A better way to weigh millions of solitary stars
15.12.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht A chip for environmental and health monitoring
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>