American Superconductor Corporation
has completed a no-load
factory testing for the world's first high temperature superconductor (HTS)
electric ship propulsion motor. The company's ultra-compact HTS motors are as
much as half the weight, one-third the size, operate with higher fuel
efficiency and have lower maintenance costs than equivalently priced copper-
based motors at the same power and torque rating.
The patented 5 megawatt (MW), 230 rpm HTS propulsion motor was designed by
AMSC's SuperMachines(TM) business unit under contract to the U.S. Navy's
Office of Naval Research (ONR). Its power and speed rating are typical for
copper-based electric propulsion motors that are currently used in ferries and
small cargo ships around the world. This class of superconductor motors also
is expected to become a standard for certain military ships.