Superconductors & Nanotech: The Future of Naval Propulsion?

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Superconductor crystal(cick for explanation) American Superconductor Corporation has received a $1.3 million contract extension for its second generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire from the US Office of Naval Research (ONR), with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This is the 6th contract or contract extension received by American Superconductor for 2G HTS wire development over just the last 10 months; the total dollar amount is approximately $8.1 million within that timeframe. Superconductivity normally works at temperatures close to absolute zero (-459F/ -273C); “high temperature superconductor” wire has the ability to work in conditions you still wouldn’t exactly consider comfortable. Targeted defense applications for 2G HTS wire include ship propulsion electric motors and generators; that area is particularly interesting, and ties into another research effort DID has noticed… DDG-1000 Destroyer concept(click to view full) reports that the USA is also undertaking efforts to develop cryogenically cooled electronics and power generation systems that could help it deal with surging electricity requirements for its all-electric warships, while dropping the size of a typical naval engine (currently, about the size of a semi’s trailer) by half and cutting weight (up to 220 tons) by a third. The University […]

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