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 Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

nachricht Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect
24.05.2017 | University of Cologne

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: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>