What Is Conductus Image

What is Conductus® ?

Conductus® is a superconducting wire used in the building of superconductor electrical devices in multiple applications in production today. Conductus® is a high current carrying conductor that provides dramatic performance improvements, higher power density, smaller size and significant cost benefits over conventional copper and aluminum wire. Conductus® wire is manufactured through a proprietary and highly refined deposition process called RCE-CDR.

Conductus® superconducting wire is uniquely positioned to address three key areas of opportunity in the market: high performance, improved economics and commercial-scale capacity.

High Performance

While superconducting wire is extremely high performance when compared to existing solutions, the best in class performance of Conductus® wire enables device manufactures to optimize design, maximize performance and reduce the number of wires necessary per device.

Conductus® typical specifications:
  • 250 to 700 Amps/centimeter, 77 Kelvin, Self-Field
  • 200 to 350 Amps/centimeter, 4.2 Kelvin, 15 Tesla, Field perpendicular to wire
  • 4 to 77 Kelvin operating temperature – increasing wire performance
  • 3mm, 4mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm and 12mm wire widths
  • Ultimate Tensile Strength @ 25° C >500 MPa
  • Low AC loss – high uniformity across wire width
  • Various cap layer options – brass, silver, copper
Improved Economics

Superconducting wire has traditionally been utilized in devices that are less cost sensitive and highly focused on proof of concept or high performance. This is anticipated to change as the improved economics of Conductus® wire enables the commercialization of new devices that are high performance as well as economical over conventional copper based solutions. The key factors in Conductus® wire’s cost benefits are:
  • Cost optimization – high yield and high throughput manufacturing, lower cost bill of material
  • High wire performance – reduces wire needed per device
  • Flexible operating temperature – decreases CAPEX cost for cooling equipment
  • Low cost coolant – liquid nitrogen as opposed to liquid helium
Commercial Scale and Kilometer Capacity

Unlike Low Temperature Superconducting (LTS) wire that is commercially available with production in the hundreds of thousands of kilometers on an annual basis, High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) wire production remains limited and is not in supply in commercial volumes. STI is in the process of scaling capacity to commercialize our Conductus® wire. Our initial production machines have been installed in Austin, TX, with the final RCE-CDR production system, capable of 1km lengths, being installed in 2014. Our total annual capacity with our new manufacturing equipment is expected to be 750km/yr.

Quick Fact - What fiber optics is to telecom, superconducting wire is to power. No other technology comes close.

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