Besides automation concepts using superconductor technology for industrial applications, we’re also researching superconducting actuators. We’ll be presenting the SupraMotor technology platform for the first time in 2018, a superconducting claw-pole motor with solid-state cooling. It’s distinguished by a very compact design, high holding torque and direct electric cooling with a long service life.
The actuator makes use of the effect that electricity, within an appropriately cooled superconductor, is transmitted without loss. This makes it possible to generate a strong magnetic field with very high currents. The SupraMotor has extensive overload capacity and is suitable for applications which are run in continuous operation. Thanks to the resistance-free superconducting coils, it’s also almost impossible for it to overheat.
The motor works particularly efficiently at low speeds with very high torques. If a load has to be held, no energy is consumed by the actuator even at maximum holding torque. Overall power requirements are low as well: whereas 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 only be operated with low phase currents at this time, because ferromagnetic materials available thus far are incapable of absorbing larger magnetic flux densities. However, it may be possible to investigate new concepts and materials by means of further research, which could fully exploit the superconductor’s current carrying capacity of well over 100?A.