Superconductor Technologies Inc. (STI), a leading company in high temperature superconductor (HTS) materials and related technologies, and the Department of Energy's (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) announced that they signed a Material Transfer Agreement on October 7, 2008.
Under the terms of the agreement,
- LANL will share coated conductor substrate materials with STI as part of LANL's research program to develop solutions for HTS cables in power applications, and
- STI will fabricate its advanced HTS thin film materials on the substrates provided by LANL.
The Material Transfer Agreement represents the next step in the previously announced collaborative effort between the parties. STI is applying its materials expertise to LANL's research initiative to develop HTS coated conductors for advanced power applications. Under the Material Transfer Agreement, LANL and STI will exchange coated conductor materials developed at each institution in order to allow research on their respective properties. The experimental results are expected to guide the creation of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between STI and LANL to develop technology intended to commercialize high-performance, low-cost HTS coated conductors.
HTS coated conductors offer the promise of replacing copper power transmission lines with superconducting cables that have higher capacity while minimizing resistive cable losses. HTS power distribution systems have the potential to become a key twenty-first century technology for improving the capacity, efficiency, and reliability of the electricity distribution network.
The DOE leads the United States' research and development efforts focused on HTS cables in power applications. The mission of the DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability is to lead the national effort to modernize the electric grid, enhance the reliability of the energy infrastructure and facilitate rapid recovery from disruptions to the energy supply.