Future Turboelectric or Hybrid Electric aircraft requires high power density and efficiency power generation components for which superconductors are likely key enablers. Therefore, there is a need for light-weight, high-performance superconducting wire with sufficiently high operating temperature. There has been stated interest in using high temperature superconductors (HTS) such rare earth barium copper oxide (ReBCO) for motors and generators because of many desirable characteristics, including high critical currents, low transient losses, low sensitivity to strain degradation effects and its high critical temperature, which enables the superconducting application to be cooled with a relatively inexpensive and abundant cryogen such as liquid nitrogen.
NASA currently has active projects for designing superconducting rotors using commercially available ReBCO coated conductor. Researchers have recently made significant improvements in the superconductivity of ReBCO coated conductor through advanced metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) processes with reported engineering current densities an order of magnitude greater than commercial wire. This demonstrated 10x enhancement in performance will enable higher current carrying capability for the same coated conductor cross section, or equivalently reduce the required amount of tape by approximately 80-90%, thereby significantly reducing the cost of superconducting motor projects at NASA, and likewise, components in a TeDP system.
This proposed Phase I proposal focuses on: 1) verifying and demonstrating the improved superconductivity properties of the ReBCO made from the advanced MOCVD process in tape and coil form, including bend tests, and 2) explore potential coil designs with various insulation options that will improve temperature uniformity and quench detection for full size rotor coils demonstrated in a Phase II effort and for rotor coils developed for future turbo-electric aircraft motor/generators.
Aircraft power components (motors, generators, cables), transformers, inductors, power conditioning equipment, land-based generators and motors, actuators, MHD magnets, propulsion engines and other applications where light weight power components are required.
Superconducting transformers, motors, generators, fault current limiters, DC transmission cables, 4 to 20 MW wind and wave turbine generators, aircraft turbo-generators, offshore oil platform motors, marine propulsion and generation systems, portable emergency power systems, fusion magnets, high energy physics and nuclear physics field-shaping coils for accelerators, and superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES).