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High-Power Superconductors

Grid Logic
Development of a New Generation High-Temperature Superconducting Composite Conductor Delivered at $20/(kA m) with Low AC Loss
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$3,828,075
Location: 
Lapeer, MI
Project Term: 
03/05/2013 to 06/04/2016
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Technical Categories: 
Critical Need: 
Outdated and inefficient transmission components are stretching our electrical grid system to its limit. There is a critical need to develop advanced conductors that can efficiently handle the high power demand of a modern grid. High-temperature superconductive materials hold great promise for grid applications, but their widespread use has been hindered by high manufacturing cost.
Project Innovation + Advantages: 
Grid Logic is developing a new type of electrical superconductor that could significantly improve the performance (in $/kA-m) and lower the cost of high-power energy generation, transmission, and distribution. Grid Logic is using a new manufacturing technique to coat very fine particles of superconducting material with an extremely thin layer--less than 1/1,000 the width of a human hair--of a low-cost metal composite. This new manufacturing process is not only much simpler and more cost effective than the process used to make today's state-of-the-art high-power superconductors, but also it makes superconductive cables easier to handle and improves their electrical properties in certain applications.
Potential Impact: 
If successful, Grid Logic would create superconductors for high-power electric utility applications that are more energy efficient at 10% of the cost of today's conductors.
Security: 
The widespread use of superconductors in utility applications would increase the reliability and efficiency of the U.S. electric grid.
Environment: 
More efficient superconductors could help reduce U.S. electricity consumption, and in turn reduce the harmful emissions created by coal-fired power plants.
Economy: 
The success of this project could give the U.S. a technological lead in advanced electrical manufacturing.
Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Patrick McGrath
Project Contact: 
Dr. Matthew Holcomb
Partners
North Carolina State University
Release Date: 
11/28/2012