High Temperature Superconductor Applications in Energy
Both electricity and hydrogen, the most environmentally friendly secondary energy sources or energy carriers, must be generated from primary sources.
The primary energy sources in large supply today are petroleum and natural gas in the short term, coal and nuclear fission in the near term, and nuclear fusion in the long term.
Renewable sources such as solar photovoltaic and wind power will also play an increasing role.
In the near term, improvements in transmission and distribution systems from local
generation sources will be needed. In the long term, in view of the nature of the primary sources, future electrical generation will be large scale, located in remote areas requiring
transmission to end-users.
Transmission is also of vital importance to distributed energy generation. HTS power transmission and distribution cables that carry current without energy
losses are expected to increase the efficiency and capacity of the transmission system, relieving grid congestion, improving electric power quality and upgrading power networks. The
increased capacity will also help improve the stability of the grid system. HTS cable, carrying three to nine times more power than conventional cable, can meet increased power demands
for urban areas and can substitute for overhead lines where there are environmental, security and/or aesthetic concerns.
I. Core Superconductivity Programs
High Temperature Superconducting Wire for Electric Cables
- Coated conductors with enhanced critical current and in-field performance using IBAD & MOCVD
- Practical coated conductors with low ac loss, improved stability and better mechanical properties
- Enhance critical current density in YBCO Coated Conductors
- Simplify the Coated Conductor architecture using new buffer layers and deposition processes
- Coated conductors, basic pinning studies via irradiation and self assembling nano-sized chemical columnar pinning centers
- Critical current enhancement of YBCO thin films by thermal neutron irradiation
- Coated conductor microstructure
- Filamentization of YBCO films to reduce ac loss
Fault Current Limiters for Transmission and Distribution High-Voltage Cables
- Design of coated conductors for FCL
- Develop techniques for the determination of the static and dynamic thermal properties of HTS films on substrates
High Efficiency Motors and Generators Using HTS
- Construction of a one-megawatt motor based on HTS trapped field magnets
High-field, low ac loss HTS coils
- HTS coils for high-field magnets, low ac loss transformers, rotating machinery
Magnesium Diboride Superconducting Wires
- Processing/critical current enhancement of Ti-sheathed MgB2 wires
Industry and Other Collaborators in Energy Applications
II. Other TcSUH Energy Materials Programs
Through external federal funding (NSF, DoE, AFOSR) and seed funding, TcSUH also supports other programs in the general area of energy materials.
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Ion Transport Membranes
- Advanced electrodes for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells
- Ion transport membrane for oxygen separation
- Fundamental studies of surface reactions and diffusion at electrodes and interfaces using oxide thin films
- Bismuth alkaline oxides and ruthenates for fuel cells
- Highly ionic conductive oxide thin films for solid state fuel cells and other energy devices
- Materials research for hydrogen technologies
High Figure of Merit Thermoelectrics
- Measurements of thermoelectric transport properties of nano-materials and metals under high pressure
- Synthesis and characterization of intermetallics for thermoelectric applications
- Processing of single-crystal like bulk oxide thermoelectrics and thin film, quantum well thermoelectrics on low thermal conductivity, amorphous substrates
High Efficiency, Flexible Photovoltaics
- Processing of single crystalline-like thin films on flexible, polycrystalline/amorphous substrates for high efficiency photovoltaics