Superconducting Wire Improving Fast and Will Enable Many Applications

In 2006 an 2007, the Department of Energy set up targets for superconducting wire like the following

Performance of HTS wires is expressed in amperes-meters (A-m), where the critical current of 1 cm-wide wire at 77K and self-field is multiplied by the wire length. The A-m value provides a basis for the comparison of different HTS wires, and is an actual indicator of progress in wire development. HTS wires with a current capacity of 1,000 amperes and piece-length of 1,000 meters, i.e., equivalent of 1,000,000 A-m,
will satisfy the requirement of most practical applications.

Demonstrate prototype 100,000 A-m critical current-length for second generation wire by FY12

Demonstrate prototype 500,000 A-m critical current-length for second generation wire by FY14

Demonstrate prototype 800,000 A-m critical current-length for second generation wire by FY15

Demonstrate prototype 1,000,000 A-m critical current-length for second generation wire by FY20

Development of HTS wires and electric power equipment, such as cables, fault current limiters, and transformers

The work seems to be a few years ahead of schedule and should have significant commercial impact in 2014-2018.

2010 Plans at SuperPower Inc

Manufacturing of long-length, high current wires at high throughput
• Bring new pilot MOCVD manufacturing system with nine-track helix
system into full operation and more than double manufacturing capacity
• Increase performance of routine production 2G wires by 50% to 300 A/cm
over lengths of several hundred meters

Improved pinning for enhanced high-field performance
• Develop new techniques for consistent nanocolumnar structures to fabricate thick HTS films MOCVD with high critical currents in high fields
– Achieve a 35% retention of self-field critical current at 77 K and 1 T, in films thicker than 2 μm
• Transition new approaches for nanocolumnar structures within the HTS film for improved consistency of in-field performance of production 2G wires
– Improve critical current of 500+m wires in a field of 0.52 T at 77 K to 150 A/cm from current level of 90 A/cm, with uniformity better than 5%