AMSC Passes Milestone

American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) completed the manufacture and testing of the rotor assembly for what they dub the world's first high temperature superconductor (HTS) ship propulsion motor. AMSC, which is manufacturing the prototype motor under a contract from the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR), shipped the rotor assembly to Alstom's Power Conversion Business in the U.K. Alstom is contracted by AMSC to build the stator and to take care of the final assembly including factory testing of the complete motor by July 2003, at which time the finished motor will begin testing by the Navy. The power rating of the high torque, low speed (230 rpm) HTS motor is 5 MW. or 6.500 shp. The rotor assembly, which is the heart of the motor, includes the rotor shaft, torque tube, HTS coils — wound with AMSC's HTS wire — a power electronic exciter, and integrated refrigeration components used to cool the HTS coils. The 5 MW/230-rpm HTS motor will be one-half the size and weight of a conventional motor built with copper coils. The electrical losses of this motor will be less than half those of a conventional ship propulsion motor because of the higher electrical efficiency provided by the HTS wires employed. The low-speed, high-torque 5 MW motor is the power rating required to propel many types of passenger and merchant vessels including container ships, passenger ferries, RoRo merchant cargo ships and tankers Dave Paratore, vice president and general manager of American Superconductor's Electric Motors and Generators business unit, said that the next key steps in the development of military and commercial HTS ship propulsion motors will be the demonstration of a 25 MW/120-rpm motor. "While our 5 MW motor is already a commercially viable size, we also intend it to be a risk mitigation step toward the development of HTS motors with power ratings up to about 40 MW, which we intend to have as part of our product portfolio along with HTS generators that will supply the electricity to run the motors." Circle 32 on Reader Service Card www.maritimereporterinfo.com

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 44,  Jan 2003 micro-emulsion technology

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