Conductus Wire Future Development Efforts Will Focus on Applications at Low Temperature and in the Presence of a Magnetic Field
AUSTIN, Texas, March 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Superconductor Technologies Inc. (STI) (Nasdaq:SCON) announced it is widening the scope of its Conductus® wire product development efforts to multiple next generation electric machines (NGEMs) applications, capitalizing on several accelerating energy megatrends: decentralized renewable energy, high energy efficiency, and sustainable transportation. This effort is synergistic with STI’s program with the Department of Energy (DOE) award for the development of superconducting wire to enable NGEMs.
“Our work for the DOE and other industry leading companies on NGEMs is progressing as planned,” stated Jeff Quiram, STI’s president and CEO. “The key enabling technology for NGEMs will be superconducting wire that can handle very high electrical currents at low temperatures in the presence of a magnetic field. The DOE project was the first application of our 2G HTS wire at low temperatures in the presence of a magnetic field. We believe our wire offers a competitive advantage both in economics and performance by consistently demonstrating record-breaking current carrying capability in such conditions.”
Continually Improving Performance
In November 2017, STI demonstrated a 40% improvement in critical current carrying capacity above the baseline set at the beginning of the DOE project. STI is working on the project in conjunction with TECO Westinghouse Motor Company, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of North Texas. The ultimate program objective is to produce wire that delivers 1,440 amps per centimeter width at 65 kelvin in a 1.5 tesla field.
“The velocity of demand coming from applications driven by energy megatrends, combined with STI’s recent improvement in wire performance and customer demand, create a unique opportunity to enhance our total addressable market. As such, we will focus our efforts on producing wire for various NGEM applications that require very high electrical performance at low temperature in the presence of a magnetic field,” concluded Quiram.
Accelerating Energy Megatrends
- Decentralized renewable energy consists of solar, wind, and water power generation technologies with access to energy storage for two-way power flows. According to the DOE, from 2008 to 2015, U.S. installed solar power increased 20-fold from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) to 22.7 GW. In 2016, 15 GW of solar power, valued at $23 billion, was installed, twice that 2015. By 2024, U.S. solar power is estimated to reach 246 GW.
- High Energy Efficiency provides significant energy cost-savings and reduced Co2 emission.
- Sustainable Transportation comes from electric vehicles.
STI’s first generation technology was targeted at wireless networks. STI subsequently transferred its efforts to superconducting wire, with the initial focus on emerging large market opportunities with electric utilities and smart grid applications. Today, STI is concentrating on NGEMs, which intend to overcome the limitations of traditional materials and designs used in electric motor components. The utilization of 2G HTS wire is expected to benefit NGEMs by cost-effectively enhancing efficiency, improving performance, and reducing weight. NGEMs are expected to significantly improve the performance of industrial electric motors, which use approximately 70% of the electricity consumed by U.S. manufacturers and nearly a quarter of all electricity consumed nationally, according to the DOE.
Previously, each superconducting application required 2G HTS wire with unique, dissimilar specifications, resulting in significant variability of demand by wire type. Recently, the DOE and other industry leaders have refined the requirements for superconducting wire utilized in NGEMs. The result is a wire specification that will address a broad spectrum of applications. STI is now concentrating its 2G HTS wire development roadmap on meeting these newly consistent specifications.
About Superconductor Technologies Inc. (STI)
Superconductor Technologies Inc. is a global leader in superconducting innovation. Its Conductus® superconducting wire platform offers high performance, cost-effective and scalable superconducting wire. With 100 times the current carrying capacity of conventional copper and aluminum, superconducting wire offers zero resistance with extreme high current density. This provides a significant benefit for electric power transmission and also enables much smaller or more powerful magnets for motors, generators, energy storage and medical equipment. Since 1987, STI has led innovation in HTS materials, developing more than 100 patents as well as proprietary trade secrets and manufacturing expertise. For more than 20 years STI utilized its unique HTS manufacturing process for solutions to maximize capacity utilization and coverage for Tier 1 telecommunications operators. Headquartered in Austin, TX, Superconductor Technologies Inc.'s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the ticker symbol “SCON.” For more information about STI, please visit http://www.suptech.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this press release regarding our business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently subject to uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. These factors and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: our limited cash and a history of losses; our need to materially grow our revenues from commercial operations and/or to raise additional capital (which financing may not be available on acceptable terms or at all) in the very near future, before cash reserves are depleted (which reserves are expected to be sufficient into the first quarter of 2017), to implement our current business plan and maintain our viability; the performance and use of our equipment to produce wire in accordance with our timetable; overcoming technical challenges in attaining milestones to develop and manufacture commercial lengths of our HTS wire; the possibility of delays in customer evaluation and acceptance of our HTS wire; the limited number of potential customers and customer pressures on the selling prices of our products; the limited number of suppliers for some of our components and our HTS wire; there being no significant backlog from quarter to quarter; our market being characterized by rapidly advancing technology; the impact of competitive products, technologies and pricing; manufacturing capacity constraints and difficulties; the impact of any financing activity on the level of our stock price; the dilutive impact of any issuances of securities to raise capital; the steps required to maintain the listing of our common stock with a U.S. national securities exchange and the impact on the liquidity and trading price of our common stock if we fail to maintain such listing; the cost and uncertainty from compliance with environmental regulations; and local, regional, and national and international economic conditions and events and the impact they may have on us and our customers.
Forward-looking statements can be affected by many other factors, including, those described in the "Business" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of STI's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and in STI's other public filings. These documents are available online at STI's website, www.suptech.com, or through the SEC's website, www.sec.gov. Forward-looking statements are based on information presently available to senior management, and STI has not assumed any duty to update any forward-looking statements.
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