New Megawatt Superconducting Motor 98% Efficient

Here we see a marine motorprototype that uses superconducting technology. Slowly but surely each component of a superconducting energy system isnow been assembled.  We start with thebig machines as de did with stem and we did with electrical and with fuel basedsystems.  They all take years ofincremental design improvement.

Combining this with generators andthe new thin superconducting cables and we have a technology package that canbe installed industrially in plants and ships.

The age of superconductivity isalmost here and will soon dominate new builds. 

98% efficiency is pretty neat.

New Megawatt Superconducting Motor Tops Japanese Output Record

Nov. 01, 10

Tokyo, November 1, 2010 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announcedtoday that its prototype superconducting motor has broken a new record. Themotor achieved Japan’shighest power output of 450 kW in a test conducted at Kawasaki’s AkashiTechnical Institute in Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture.This achievement marks yet another breakthrough in Kawasaki’s research and development intospace and energy-saving superconducting motors for large vessel propulsionsystems as well as large-scale industrial drive systems.

1.About the Breakthrough

Superconductivity is a unique phenomenon that has been observed inspecific materials. When these materials are cooled to ultralow temperatures,they demonstrate absolutely no electrical resistance. If applied to variousdevices and systems, this phenomenon can significantly boost efficiency.

Superconducting coils incorporated into the design of the prototypemotor’s rotor are cooled with cryogenic gas. Eliminating the need for an ironcore to generate a strong magnetic field, these coils have enabled Kawasaki to build a motorthat's half the size of conventional models. This most recent test wasconducted on a prototype motor with a designed output of 1 MW. When two out ofsix coils were installed on each pole, the motor’s power output reached 450 kW withan outstanding efficiency rate* of 98% to top the Japanese record. The testresults suggest that motor output will reach 1 MW when all coils are installed.

*Motor efficiency is the ratio of mechanical energy output toelectrical energy input.

2.Possible Applications

While ships are now starting to employ electric propulsion systemsdesigned to reduce environmental load and diversify energy sources, themaritime industry is still looking for new ways to boost fuel efficiency aswell as cut emissions in order to combat climate change even further. It’sagainst this backdrop that superconducting technology has fallen under thespotlight as a sustainable solution to the world’s mounting energy andenvironmental problems.

A vessel employing an electric propulsion system with a superconductingmotor will consume far less electricity than an ordinary diesel engine ship.What’s more, the motor’s compact size makes room for optimal hull designs thatwill reduce wave resistance. Another benefit is minimal energy loss since themotor drives the ship’s propellers directly without the use of speed reducers.Altogether these advantages of superconducting technology cut fuel consumptionby about 20%.

This year, Kawasakibegan development of a 3 MW commercial model for use with various types ofdomestic cargo vessels that will boast the world’s highest efficiency andsmallest footprint. Kawasakiis moving full speed ahead to put superconducting motors to use on medium andlarge-sized merchant ships as well as industrial power generators and drivesystems for highly efficient products designed to shrink our carbon footprint.Superconducting motors for liquefied natural gas carriers as well as tomorrow’sliquefied hydrogen carriers are making the most of cold energy to bringpropulsion system efficiency to new heights.

Kawasaki has been developing a superconducting motor under a projectcommissioned (and currently subsidized) by the New Energy and IndustrialTechnology Development Organization (NEDO) since September 2007 in cooperationwith the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, the NationalMaritime Research Institute, Japan Superconductivity Organization, and SumitomoElectric Industries, Ltd. 

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