Besides automation concepts using superconductor technology for industrial applications, we're also researching superconductive drives. We presented the SupraMotor technology platform, a superconductive claw pole motor with solid-state cooling, for the first time in 2018. It features a very compact design, a high holding torque and an electric direct cooling system with a long service life.
The drive utilises the effect of electricity, within an appropriately cooled superconductor, being transmitted without any losses. This allows a strong magnetic field to be generated with very high currents. The SupraMotor has a high overload capacity and is suitable for applications in continuous operation. Thanks to the resistance-free superconductive coils, it is also almost impossible for it to overheat.
The motor works particularly efficiently at low rotational speeds with very high torques. If a load has to be held, the drive consumes no energy even at maximum holding torque. The overall energy demand is also low: while the motor’s output power is in the double-digit kilowatt range, it only needs energy for cooling in the low three-digit watt range.
The motor can currently only be operated with low phase currents, as the ferromagnetic materials available up to now are unable to absorb larger magnetic flux densities. However, further research can be carried out to investigate new concepts and materials that could fully exploit the superconductor’s current carrying capacity of well over 100 amperes.