A superconducting material offers zero resistance to an electric current when cooled below a certain temperature. Where better production, storage and use of energy is essential to protect the environment and ensure the best possible quality of life.
Superconductivity is a cross-category technology that may pave the way to otherwise unthinkable possibilities. Engineers at leading companies worldwide are now designing, prototyping and in many cases producing on a regular basis superconducting motors and generators (especially for use in hydroelectric and wind power generation), power cables and medical devices, to mention just a few successful examples of systems that are more efficient than the corresponding non-superconducting ones. These superconducting devices are also much smaller and lighter. In addition, innovative devices such as superconducting fault current limiters (SFCL), medical resonance imagers (MRI) and weak magnetic field sensors (SQUID) are finding it easier to make an impact on the market, for the simple reason that there is no ‘copper-based’ equivalent to compete with.
Superconductivity will find applications everywhere and each year about € 200 million is typically spent worldwide on research and development into advanced superconducting materials and devices.