July 25, 2006 Energy technologies company American Superconductor, announced today it has achieved commercial levels of electric current for the first time in long lengths of second generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire. This is the first time commercial levels of electrical current have been successfully achieved in long lengths (over 300 feet) by a low cost industrial process, making possible the emergence of this technology from the laboratory into the marketplace. HTS wires conduct large quantities of electricity with 100% efficiency when cooled with environmentally friendly liquid nitrogen, the coolant of choice for superconductor electric power transmission and distribution cables. The company claims this achievement will have a significant impact on the future of power grids worldwide and is ramping up the manufacture of 2G Wire by its patented, low cost process to meet growing demand and expects the price-performance ratio of 2G wire to be equivalent to that of copper by the end of the decade. The few ultra-thin HTS wires on the right of this image, carry as much power as all the copper shown on the left.
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