August 02, 2010
By: by Traute F. Lehner, SuperPower, Inc.
August 2, 2010 - Schenectady, NY - SuperPower announced that it has been named co-recipient with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the University of Houston (UH) of an R&D 100 Award for the joint work of the three institutions to produce higher-performing high-temperature superconducting (HTS) wires. The award is part of the annual competition sponsored by Research and Development Magazine to recognize the "100 most technologically significant new products of 2010."
The subject of the award is the 3-D self-assembly process, "High-performance, high-Tc superconducting wires enabled via self-assembly of non-superconducting columnar defects," which enables the fabrication of ultra-high-performance superconducting wires. The technology is designed to create non-superconducting nanoscale columnar defects with nanoscale spacing within HTS wires. These defects are desirable because they can improve the performance of high-temperature superconductors by enabling large currents to flow through the materials in the presence of high applied magnetic fields.
Arthur P. Kazanjian, general manager of SuperPower, Inc., commented, "The higher performance characteristics of this 'advanced pinning' wire are providing important benefits in HTS applications that operate at lower temperatures and in various background magnetic fields, including various type of motors, generators, transformers and all types of high field magnets. The demand for HTS in the electric power, medical, transportation, industrial and military sectors demonstrates this product's importance and widespread commercial viability."
Dr. Venkat Selvamanickam, M.D. Anderson chair professor of mechanical engineering at UH, head of the Applied Research Hub at the Texas Center for Superconductivity, and SuperPower's chief technology advisor, added, "This important recognition of the recent advancements in 2G HTS wire made by SuperPower's technology team, together with University of Houston and our partners at Oak Ridge, highlights the growing significance of HTS technology for an impressive array of applications that are now being developed around the world. In less than two years, technology that was developed in short samples has been successfully transitioned to routine manufacturing by SuperPower and offered as a new product by the company."
The award was made for the joint work of SuperPower with its research and technology development group at the University of Houston, along with the researchers at the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston and in collaboration with ORNL. The research was funded through the U. S. Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OEDER) and ORNL's Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.
"Oak Ridge National Laboratory and SuperPower have made a number of important technology advancements over the years on the basis of our collaborative programs. We are pleased that this nanoscale self-assembly process has resulted in a high performance HTS wire that is leading to important commercial benefits," said Dr. Amit Goyal, corporate fellow and distinguished inventor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Dr. Dominic F. Lee, Superconductivity Program Manager at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, added, "The close collaboration between team members is a perfect example of how R&D should be done - with a national laboratory serving as the bridge between academia and private industry. I am particularly impressed by the short length of time required by SuperPower to bring this nanotechnology into large-scale production."
The process was developed and jointly submitted by Selvamanickam with Yimin Chen of SuperPower Inc. and ORNL researchers Amit Goyal, Sung-hun Wee, Sukill Kang, Eliot Specht, Yanfei Gao, Karren More, Claudia Cantoni, Keith Leonard, Yuri Zuev, Malcolm Stocks, Tolga Aytug, Mariappan Paranthaman, David Christen, Jim Thompson and Dominic Lee.
The R&D 100 Award will be presented in a Gala Awards Banquet on November 11, 2010 at the Renaissance Orlando Hotel at SeaWorld in Florida.
This is the third time in its ten-year history that SuperPower has received the distinguished R&D 100 Award. The first award was received in 2004 for the Excel system, a tabletop X-Ray diffraction system that measures the uniformity of both the buffer layer and the superconductor layer of 2G HTS wire, and was developed in conjunction with X-Ray Optical Systems of East Greenbush, NY and the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). In 2007 SuperPower, together with ORNL, received the award for the development of a high performance LMO-enabled HTS wire, with the unique combination of strength, flexibility, fabricability, throughput, and low cost needed for power grid applications.
About SuperPowerSuperPower, Inc. a subsidiary of Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI), was formed in March 2000 to develop and commercialize high temperature superconductor (HTS) technology for applications that benefit from high energy density, high magnetic fields and green attributes, including energy, medical, transportation, research and other sectors.