American Superconductor have just manufactured and tested the rotor assembly for the first high temperature superconducting (HTS) ship propulsion motor. The motor is a prototype being manufactured for the UN Navy’s Office of Naval Research.
The rotor assembly has been shipped to Alstom’s Power Conversion Business in the UK. Alstom have been contracted by American Superconductor to build the stator, build the final assembly and test the motor. These activities are due to be completed by July 2003, when the US Navy is due to begin testing the motor.
The low speed high torque motor has been designed to produce 5MW or 6,500 shaft horsepower.
The motor utilises American Supercondutor’s HTS wire and coils. Compared to more conventional copper wound motors, the supercondutor-based motor will be half the size and weight and will have lower electrical losses.
American Superconductor hopes to be delivering similar motors to ship builders for their propulsion in the next two to three years.
For more information on superconductors, click here.