Nano-Engineered Superconductors for Power Applications (NESPA)

01.10.2006 - 30.06.2011
High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) have an enormous potential for significantly improving existing power systems, such as cables, motors, transformers, magnets and generators, because higher power densities and reduced losses can be achieved by replacing copper or low temperature superconductor wires. Superconducting materials will also enable completely new technologies in the power sector, such as fault current limiters or inherently stable magnetic levitation. As examples for innovative applications, advanced energy systems for ¿all-electrical¿ ships, off-shore wind mills and transportation systems should be mentioned. Although research on the materials aspects of HTS has been highly successful in the past, the development of low cost - high performance HTS materials remains a key factor of success and requires significantly more basic and applied materials research, in order to bring these emerging materials onto the market in a reasonable time frame. The development of HTS materials for power applications is a highly multidisciplinary task involving chemistry, physics, materials science and electrical engineering. This task is currently addressed along three quite differently oriented routes: (i) the construction and implementation of first ¿real¿ industrial systems based on HTS materials, (ii) the development of HTS coated conductors (CC) and MgB2 tapes that will result in an economic wire production and (iii) the controlled nano-engineering of superconducting materials (highly textured HTS bulk materials and thin films, MgB2 powder) to enhance flux pinning and thus to improve the material performance. These advanced materials are essential for industry to enable the further development and marketing of ¿real-world¿ HTS systems. Only when these HTS applications can be placed on the market, will the community benefit from the technical, economical and environmental potential that superconductivity holds. In addition to these materials aspects, other enabling technologies, such as cryocoolers and cryogenic envelopes, need to be significantly advanced, in order to allow a successful introduction of superconductivity into the market. The planned Research and Training Network will strongly accelerate these developments towards industrial applicability by forming a multidisciplinary research team with leading experts from European universities (University of Cambridge, Vienna University of Technology, ILTSR Wroclaw), research centres (IFW Dresden, Slovak Academy of Science, Research Center Karlsruhe, ICMAB Barcelona) and both large companies (Siemens AG, Nexans, Ansaldo) as well as SME¿s (Stirling, Columbus), who are willing and keen to train young researchers on a broad range of relevant topics. The project will focus on the most promising superconducting materials, preparation techniques, applications and cryogenic developments for the envisaged power application systems. Therefore, the material research topics will be restricted to RE123 Coated Conductors, RE123 bulk material and MgB2 wires and tapes. There, improving the critical current density as the central figure of merit of superconducting materials for power applications requires the controlled incorporation of a high density of nano-scale defects into an undisturbed crystalline matrix. The electrical engineering issues under consideration will concentrate on reducing ac-losses in superconducting wires and tapes by innovative conductor designs. The industrial aspects are focused on up-scaling the material preparation and the realization of superconducting cables, motors, magnets and their cryogenics involved.






  • European Commission (EU)


  • Materials and Matter


EnergieanwendungenPower Application
Dünne HochtemperatursupraleiterHigh-temperature superconductor films