March 15, 2017

European superconducting tape achieves goals of lower cost and more efficient superconducting tape

European researchers have created a cheaper and more efficient superconducting tape which could one day be used to double the potency of wind turbines.

The Eurotapes research project addressed two broad objectives:

1.- The integration of the latest developments into simple conductor architectures for low and medium cost applications and delivery of +500 meter tapes (they made 600 meters of tape). Definition of quality control tools and protocols to enhance the processing throughput and yield to achieve a pre-commercial cost target of 100 €/kAm.

2.- Use of advanced methodologies to enhance performance (larger thickness and Ic, enhanced pinning for high fields, reduced ac losses and increased mechanical strength).

Demonstration high critical currents (Ic over 400Amps /cm-w, at 77K and self-field and Ic over 1000A/cm-w at 5K and 15T) and pinning forces (Fp over 100GN/m3 at 60 K). The CSD and PLD technologies will be combined to achieve optimized tape architectures, nanostructures and processes to address a variety of HTS applications at self-field, high and ultrahigh magnetic fields. Up to month 36, 3 types of conductors will be developed (RABiT, ABAD and round wire); at Mid Term 2 will be chosen for demonstration during the final 18 months.

The Eurotapes project came to an end in February 2017 and the project consortium met in Barcelona on the 13th-15th of this month to present their final results. After 54 months of research, the project will be closing as it has achieved its objectives. The Eurotapes project has managed to produce 600 meters of superconducting tape with a process that reduces the cost of production of superconducting materials, simplifies its architecture and improves its capacity in high magnetic fields through various temperature scales.

It has also obtained significant results for advanced magnetic research, a field in which reference centers such as CERN and ITER are working. In the long term, the project will allow renewable energy to be more competitive because it allows windmills to generate more energy through higher efficiency and lower generator costs.

"This new material could be used to make more potent and lighter wind turbines," he added, predicting it will make it possible to manufacture wind turbines one day with double the potency than existing ones.

In the long run the project could "revolutionize the production of renewable energy," the Institute said in a statement.

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