* US Army Research Lab joins SMES work to develop energy storage device for tactical microgrid
* DOE Smart Grid program moving toward demonstration of superconducting fault current limiting transformer
* ARPA-E SMES ( superconducting magnetic energy storage) development work making excellent progress in demonstrating the high-power capabilities of magnet coils for energy storage device utilizing high-performance superconducting wire
The goal of this program is to develop a competitive, fast response, grid-scale MWh SMES as demonstrated by a small-scale 10 kW, 1.7 MJ prototype with a direct connection power electronics converter. The project should be successfully completed by the end of this year (2013)
All of the coils for the magnet have been built by Brookhaven with final tests currently underway; a novel superconducting bypass switch has been built and successfully tested by Brookhaven; power electronics converters have been built and successfully tested by ABB; and the capabilities of a new plasma-assist MOCVD superconductor deposition system have been successfully demonstrated by the University of Houston.
* ARPA-E wind turbine generator program aims to replace rare-earth-based permanent magnets with high-performance superconducting wire
The University of Houston is working toward a four-fold improvement in the HTS wire current density at device operating conditions of 30K and in a 2 Tesla magnetic field, which is expected to lead directly to a dramatic price improvement. The HTS wire specifications from SuperPower with the projected 4X performance improvement has been used to design a 10 MW direct drive generator. Significant progress in the development of high-performance HTS wires including a 65 percent enhancement in critical current at the operating condition of wind generators by engineering nanoscale defects in the HTS films in the ARPA-E REACT project. In the ARPA-E SMES project, we have achieved the highest-ever critical current in HTS films of less than two micrometers made by a chemical process through the development of a novel HTS film deposition system.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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