Rockwell works with SuperPower on high-efficiency motors, generators

Greenville, SC; Schenectady, NY—Rockwell Automation Inc. has agreed with SuperPower Inc. to work together to design, develop, build, and install high-temperature superconducting (HTS) electric motors and generators for high-horsepower commercial, industrial and military applications.


Greenville, SC; Schenectady, NY— Rockwell Automation Inc. has agreed with SuperPower Inc. to work together to design, develop, build, and install high-temperature superconducting (HTS) electric motors and generators for high-horsepower commercial, industrial and military applications. Superconducting motors are expected to be a key emerging technology for delivering energy savings in many industries.

The agreement calls on Rockwell’s Reliance industrial, commercial and marine motors and generators to incorporate SuperPower's groundbreaking, ceramic-based Second Generation (2G) coated conductor technology. SuperPower is developing a 2G HTS wire that demonstrates superior performance over commonly used 'first generation' wire. Its enhanced current carrying performance at higher operating temperatures reportedly makes SuperPower's 2G wire an essential component for more energy efficient and cost effective industrial motors and generators.

Rockwell’s engineers have been pioneering new technologies to make superconductivity a viable energy-saving solution since 1987. In 2001, Rockwell demonstrated a 1,600-horsepower superconducting motor using first generation wire. Using the more cost-effective 2G wire will help further the development of lightweight, highly-efficient generators and motors, ideal for a multitude of industrial applications that place a high premium on energy efficiency, weight, and size. These combined benefits will provide lowest lifecycle cost solutions to commercial, industrial and marine customers. Developing HTS motors also offers

'The results of our future efforts under this joint agreement will make a significant impact on the successful commercialization of second-generation HTS rotating machinery leading to cost-effective electric motors and generators that are ultra-efficient, lighter, and substantially more power dense than those that are available today,' said Joseph Swann, president of Rockwell Automation Power Systems. 'This is a significant step forward in the continued development of the world's first commercial HTS motor and generator. We are all extremely excited about the potential of this vital energy-saving technology, as well as the total cost of ownership benefits it could provide to our customers.'

Philip Pellegrino, SuperPower’s president,re building on Rockwell Automation’s global reputation in high-horsepower conventional motor engineering, design, and manufacturing, and on its acknowledged leadership in HTS motor R&D. Together with SuperPower's global leadership position in the development of commercially viable 2Gwire and our expertise in electrical coil/lead fabrication and cryogenics, I believe this agreement will produce a very powerful combination.'

SuperPower is a wholly owned subsidiary of Intermagnetics General Corp., and uses its core capabilities in materials, cryogenics, and magnetics to develop second-generation HTS wire and electric power components, such as underground transmission and distribution cables, transformers, and fault current limiters.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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