Improving superconductive wire
Young is collaborating with Superconductor Technologies Inc., TECO-Westinghouse Motor Company and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center on this project, which is funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The researchers plan to improve the manufacturing process of superconductive wires, which will in turn improve performance while reducing costs.
“Improving superconducting materials could help out with technology like MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) and high speed trains,” said Young. “It could cut down on the time you have to sit in the machine. We are also looking into using superconducting wire for ultra-high speed internet connection because it could be significantly faster than what we currently have with fiber optics.”
In this project, the researchers are focused on improving high temperature superconducting wires for high power density motors/generators as well as MRI electromagnets. For his part of the project, Young will work with College of Engineering student researchers, funded by the grant, to identify variations in the processing which result in better performance of these superconducting wires. Once Young’s team obtains those results, the collaborators will be able to create more stable and higher performing superconducting wires, based on better control of the processing parameters.
“This could have a huge impact on industry and I think we’ll be successful,” said Young. “We will find an answer for sure on the materials side.”