Rockwell Automation and American Superconductor Corp. (Westborough, Mass., USA) announced the successful operation of a 1,000 HP high temperature superconducting (HTS) Reliance Electric motor, reportedly the largest of its type demonstrated to date. The new motor was designed to utilize HTS wires instead of copper wires on the rotating shaft of the motor.
The new motor was developed under the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Superconductivity Partnership Initiative, which promotes advanced high-efficiency motors based on superconducting technologies. The superconducting motor can be smaller, lighter, and more efficient than conventional motors, reducing volume and energy losses by half. The DOE's immediate goal is to have prototypes working in order to gain exposure for the project and perhaps usher in the technology that can one day make superconducting motors commercially viable.
HTS technology advances toward the development of ultra efficient large horsepower superconducting motors for industrial applications. The next step in the advancement of this technology will be a 5000 horsepower pre-commercial HTS motor system demonstration.