High Temperature Superconductor Basics | HTS Properties
This page describes High Temperature Superconductor(HTS) basics, HTS materials and High Temperature Superconductor properties.
The normal copper conductor has limited current capacity which is about 1 to 5 amperes/mm2. Moreover it has very high power losses for larger distances. High temperature superconductor (HTS) cable carry higher capacity current of greater than 100 amperes/mm2 and hardly lose any power. HTS has current loss of less than about 2%. Hence it is ideal for electric power transmission. BASF has developed HTS cable with four layers viz. optional protective layer(silver,gold or copper), HTS layer (MgO, YBa2CU30X, REBa2Cu3OX), Buffer layer and metal substrate.
Ordinary superconductor will have transition temperature below about 30K (i.e. -243.2 DegreeC) while HTS will have transition temperature of about 138 K. Transition temperature is the temperature below which they function as superconductor. Initially few compounds of oxygen and copper were used as HTS. Later on several compounds have been discovered to have HTS properties.
High Temperature Superconducting materials exhibit gradual change in transition temperature as function of magnetic field.
The first high temperature superconductor was discovered by researchers at IBM. Following table mentions useful oxide superconductors along with their internal structures & transition temperatures. Compounds such as Y-based, Bi-based, TI-based and Hg-based are used as high temperature superconductors.
|Compound||Tc (Kelvin)||Crystal Structure|
Applications of High Temperature Superconductor
Following are the applications of high temperature superconductor:
• Power Transmission: Power cables made of HTC conductors have potential to be used for power transmission in the areas of high population density.
• Renewable Energy Sources: It can also be used to simplify integration of renewable energy sources. Using this superconductors, it has become possible to harvest energy by means of wind as well as hydro power generators.
• Magnetic Trains: Expulsion of magnetic field in superconducting state is useful in magnetically levitated trains. These trains will have no friction between wheels and tracks and hence high speed can be achieved. Huge magnetic field generated by superconductor will help levitate and propel the trains.
• Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Magnetic field produced by Superconductor is applied to human body for scanning and image detection purpose.