HTS Materials Technology
Superconductors come in two types, low-temperature (LTS) and high-temperature (HTS). The temperature that defines each is the level to which the conductors need to be cooled in order to become "superconducting". SuperPower has developed the capability to produce wire and tape from forms of ceramic HTS materials that have transition temperatures of around 77K (or -320ºF), and thereby are called high-temperature superconductors. These temperatures are considerably warmer than the metal alloy LTS currently being used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) magnets.
Low Temperature Superconductors (LTS)
Low Temperature Superconductors were discovered in 1911. Materials need to be cooled to about 4 K, which is achieved by using liquid helium. Clinical magnetic resonance imaging was the first major commercial application of superconductivity and remains as the major market today.
High Temperature Superconductors (HTS)
The discovery of ceramic-based high temperature superconductors in 1986 in Switzerland opened the possibility of applying superconductivity to electric power devices. The 'high' in HTS refers to the ability to achieve the superconducting state at temperatures attainable using inexpensive liquid nitrogen, approximately 77K. The reduced cooling needs of HTS offer performance advantages to electric power devices that did not exist with LTS.
SuperPower Inc. is subsidiary
of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
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