Navy Tests New Superconducting Motor

DN Staff

September 26, 2005

1 Min Read
Navy Tests New Superconducting Motor

A 5-MW motor using HTS (high-temperature-superconducting) wire and magnets has passed load- and ship-mission-testing protocols. American Superconductor designed the motor under an Office of Naval Research contract as an interim step toward a 36-MW, 49,000-hp, 120-rpm unit under development for ship propulsion. The goal is a propulsion system that has one-third the weight and one-half the size of conventional copper-based motors of the same rating.

The 5-MW motor underwent static and dynamic tests at the Center for Advanced Power Systems at Florida State University (Tallahassee). Alstom Power Conversion's ( Rugby, UK, facility designed, built, and conducted further tests on the stator- and marine-drive electronics. In the static tests, the motor ran at full load and speed, 230 rpm, for 21 hours; resultant temperature and performance data agreed with design predictions. In the dynamic test, the test station imposed load variations of 0.5 to 10 percent around moderate- and full-power operating points. Testing also used hardware-in-the-loop simulation to control the motor and emulate complete propulsion-system operation.

For more information, visit American Superconductor's website at

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