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NZ leads rollout of 'revolutionary' HTS tech

NZ leads global rollout of 'revolutionary' HTS tech

Boosting the global uptake of High Temperature Superconductors (HTS), a revolutionary technology transforming a wide range of industries, is the goal of an influential line-up of international industrial heavyweights gathering in Wellington next week.

At the 18th International Superconductivity Industry Summit (ISIS), which runs from February 9 to 11 at Te Papa, New Zealand’s emerging HTS sector will host some of the leading lights of the global power and manufacturing sectors as they work together to cement a global HTS industry estimated to be worth billions of dollars by the end of the decade .

HTS enables far lighter, more efficient, more stable and more environmentally friendly technologies that offer significant cost savings to sectors ranging from power transmission and generation to manufacturing and electronics. It achieves this by allowing the flow of electricity with no loss of energy at temperatures far higher, and therefore more easily achievable, than those needed for standard, low temperature superconductors.

“New Zealand is at the forefront of this revolutionary technology, and is well placed to remain a key player as global momentum builds”, says Shaun Coffey, CEO of Industrial Research Ltd, a pioneer in the development of HTS technology, and part of the New Zealand High Temperature Superconductivity Industry Association (NZ-HTSIA) that is sponsoring the summit.

“By exporting scientific and industrial equipment based on HTS magnets and as the only producer of specialty cables for use in that equipment, New Zealand is building commercial revenues in advance of others offshore, ensuring our local industry can compete on the international stage,” he says.

Major global players attending ISIS, which is co-sponsored by Wellington Institute of Technology and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, include engineering giant Siemens AG, whose commitment to HTS includes R&D such as motor programmes for mass transport and utility generators, for which it recently purchased HTS cable from New Zealand’s General Cable Superconductors Ltd in a landmark deal.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, a large Japanese utility whose HTS projects include developing HTS power cables, will also attend, as well as American Superconductor Corp. Superconductivity experts from the US, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region will also participate, alongside observers from countries including China.

IRL’s Dr Bob Buckley, co-inventor of the material used to make HTS wire today, says the open day on February 9 will be of particular interest to senior engineers in industrial and manufacturing energy-based companies who are interested to know how this exciting technology could be relevant for their future business strategy.


About High Temperature Superconductivity

Superconductivity is a phenomenon where some materials conduct electricity with no resistance or energy loss during the transmission process. While it would appear that High Temperature Superconducting cables are very hot, they are in fact extremely cold and are termed High Temperature because they are comparatively much warmer than previously developed Low Temperature Superconducting materials, which operated at close to absolute zero –the temperature of liquid helium (-273 Celsius.) HTS technology operates at the relatively warmer temperatures of liquid nitrogen (-196 Celsius.) The colder the materials are, the greater the financial cost and the development of HTS makes superconducting technology a viable commercial proposition.

About New Zealand’s HTS sector

New Zealand has established itself as a key player in the development and application of HTS technologies since its discovery in 1988.
The key focus of the New Zealand High Temperature Superconductor Industry Association is to support the HTS industry as it strives to achieve international success in high-value magnet-based systems, cryogenic refrigeration, and cables.
NZ’s HTS sector comprises a range of players across a broad set of disciplines including;
• Engineering and manufacturing - includes such companies as HTS-110, General Cable Superconductors, DC Ross, Fabrum Solutions, and Electropar
• Research and education – including IRL and Wellington Institute of Technology
• Power systems, utilities, equipment manufacturers and consultants – including Vector, ETEL and PB Power
• Local government, economic development agencies and business organisations
• Central government - includes such organisations as New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and the Foundation for Research Science and Technology

ENDS

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