This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 31, 2004

Two Companies Break Records with New Superconducting Wires

Two U.S. companies are pushing the limits of their newest high-temperature superconducting (HTS) wires to new heights. HTS wires promise significant gains in energy efficiency for electrical power lines and machinery because they carry electrical current with no resistance and very low energy losses. American Superconductor Corporation has produced multiple 10-meter lengths of its second-generation HTS wires that are capable of carrying 250 amperes of current per centimeter of wire width, a world-record performance. The company estimates that it needs to achieve 300 amperes of current per centimeter of wire width for commercial applications of the wire. Meanwhile, SuperPower Inc.—a subsidiary of Intermagnetics General Corporation—has produced a 57-meter length of second-generation HTS wire that can carry 105 amperes, which is also a world record. See the press releases from American Superconductor and Intermagnetics.

American Superconductor also continues to successfully sell its grid stability products. The company sold one of its reactive power compensation systems to a Canadian wind power plant in January, and sold another to the Long Island Power Authority on March 29th. The systems help to stabilize voltage in the power grid and avoid power outages. See the American Superconductor press releases from January 14th and March 29th.