First Commercial Production Facility for
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In 1987, two professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a process to make high temperature superconducting wires. Drs. Greg Yurek and John Vandesande were able to license the technology from MIT and form the American Superconductor Corporation (ASC).
In 1991, ASC won an award from NIST's Advanced Technology Program (ATP) to develop high-temperature superconducting (HTS) coils. The initial application was to make more efficient electric motors, but as it turned out, the impact has been greater than just that initial focus.
and Economic Impacts
The economic impact is, and is continuing to be, significant. Twelve years after the ATP project was awarded, the results from that project helped ASC build the world’s first commercial production facility for HTS wires in Devens, Massachusetts. The capacity of the plant is nearly 900,000 meters of wire. Demand has been so great for the HTS wire that ASC has a backlog order of 500,000 meters.
HTS wires have application in many different areas: utility generators, industrial ship propulsion motors, and power cables. Some important examples of this potential being realized include:
By helping the American Superconductor Corporation overcome the technical risks in developing a process to manufacture HTS wire, ATP has enabled economic and social impacts in the United States including:
ASC has received external recognition for its technical accomplishments. Some key awards that ASC has won that are related to the ATP project include:
More recently, the London-based Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) selected Dr. Yurek for the 2003 Viscount Nuffield Silver Medal, its award for the most meritorious contribution to the manufacturing profession for creating “an entirely new, growing global market for superconductor products."2
Date created: June
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