Responsive cryogenic cooling network for high-temperature superconductor power distribution

Interconnected cryogenic cooling stations efficiently deliver extraordinary power

Military Technology Energy

The U.S. Navy’s Applied Superconductivity Team recently invented a responsive cryogenic power distribution system for maintaining cryogenic refrigeration throughout a superconducting network. The patented technology is available via license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it.

The USS Higgins

The USS Higgins

In contrast to copper and aluminum wiring, high-temperature ceramic conductors enable superconductivity power transmission that enables military and commercial applications requiring extremely high current density and lossless current transport.

The superconductivity power distribution enabled by cryogenic cooling down to temperatures ranging from −243 to −193 Celsius offers new design options and flexibility to move large amounts of power around a platform, for example, a ship, to meet requirements.

High-temperatures superconductor power cables normally use liquid nitrogen for cooling due to its availability, large thermal mass, ease of pumping, and dielectric properties.

For Navy systems, using a liquid nitrogen cryogen presents the potential danger of human asphyxiation in the event of a system breach. Additionally, liquid nitrogen has a lower temperature limit before it solidifies.

For these reasons as well as the ability to achieve much colder temperatures, the Navy has been using gaseous helium as the cryogen for the majority of its high-temperatures superconductor machines and systems.

The Navy’s newly patented design connects the power cables with multiple cooling stations, forming a network that can be reconfigured if a cooling station or a power cable malfunctions.

The system is applicable to any vessel, such as a ship, a submarine, a spacecraft.

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