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 Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | 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

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>