AMSC (Nasdaq:AMSC), a global solutions provider serving wind and grid leaders, today introduced a new class of Amperium(R) superconductor wire for power cable applications with industry-leading performance, pricing and production capacity at the Applied Superconductivity Conference (ASC 2012). This breakthrough is expected to enable lower cost superconductor power cables and expand the global addressable market for these systems.
AMSC is now offering brass-laminated 4.4 mm Amperium wire with demonstrated current carrying performance up to 200 amps. This is considered industry-leading performance for high-volume second generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire and compares with AMSC's existing line of 70-100 amp wires. Similar to AMSC's existing Amperium product line, the new wire has leading electrical, mechanical and thermal properties.
Along with this substantial increase in performance, AMSC also has announced that the kiloamp-meter pricing of this new brass-laminated wire has been substantially reduced compared with AMSC's existing Amperium product line. This, in turn, is expected to lead to a reduction in the cost of superconductor power cables while also expanding the global addressable market for these systems.
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"We believe increasing wire performance and reducing pricing can serve as catalysts for superconductor cable adoption," said Jean-Maxime Saugrain, Corporate Vice President Technical at Nexans, a worldwide expert in the cable industry. "With years of successful superconductor cable demonstrations and in-grid experience behind us, we look forward to continuing our close collaboration with AMSC to grow our superconductors business and maximize global market penetration."
Superconductor power cable systems can conduct up to 10 times the amount of power of conventional cables made with copper wire. When placed strategically in urban power grids, superconductor power cables deliver more power than conventional cables in the same right-of-way to mitigate grid congestion or can be used to replace overhead lines. These types of cables are currently in the early stages of adoption, with initial in-grid installations in China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and the United States.
"This is an advance of tremendous importance for AMSC, its customers and the industry in general," said AMSC President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel P. McGahn. "By improving our wire performance, significantly reducing volume pricing and maintaining our industry-leading production capacity, we are positioning our products to fulfill the promise of HTS. I would like to publicly extend my thanks and congratulations to our Massachusetts team for extending AMSC's global leadership."