SBIR-STTR Award

Advanced Compact Shipboard HTS Cable Terminations
Profile last edited on: 9/19/2022

Program
SBIR
Agency
Navy
Total Award Amount
$839,125
Award Phase
2
Principal Investigator
Peter Winn
Activity Indicator

Company Information

AMSC (AKA:American Superconductor Corporation)

114 East Main Street
Ayer, MA 01432
   (978) 842-3000
   N/A
   www.amsc.com
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   03
County:   Middlesex

Phase I

Phase I year
2020
Phase I Amount
$239,623
Todays Navy continues to see increased demand for more power applied from both on and off the ship. This need is largely driven by the continued development of high power density advanced weapons systems and sensors. Continued space and weight limitations for these ship applications will drive the need for new power solutions to be light and compact, easing installation on new ships and enabling upgrades on existing ones. To meet this need, highly efficient methods of transferring large amounts of power are being investigated by NSWC Carderock in Philadelphia through the use of High temperature Superconductors (HTS). Although the team in Philadelphia is developing these high capacity, compact power cables, there is no active development for the terminations that these extremely power dense cable systems will need if they are to be integrated at the ship level. American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) has gained experience in the development, design and manufacture of low voltage DC HTS cable and connectors through its partnership with NSWC on the HTS advanced degaussing program. Additionally, AMSC has recently integrated a high capacity power cable connector, also developed in partnership with NSWC, into an HTS cable. AMSC is uniquely positioned to successfully develop this type of high efficiency, low temperature electrical connection.

Benefit:
The existence of a high power, compact, robust HTS cable termination would allow the ship level implementation of several high power density advanced weapons systems and sensors. It is anticipated that the initial customers for the high capacity, compact HTS cable termination would be the shipbuilding contractors (such as Bath Iron Works, Newport News and Huntington Ingalls) that provide the US Navy with surface combatant platforms that will someday house these advanced weapons systems. The technology would benefit the shipyards by enabling high density energy transfer that will be needed by on future Navy platforms for the energy dense applications previously mentioned. Additionally, HTS cables used in conjunction with the proposed high density power termination will provide that energy density at a fraction of the weight than can be provided by conventional copper based power transfer systems, reducing installation time and effort. A high capacity power cable termination has several potential commercial applications. Although most of the demand for increased efficient power transfer and distribution were for military applications, the superconducting, electric propulsion and high capacity DC Bus systems under development at NASA (Jeff Trudell) and with the US Air Force (Tim Haugen) for next generation flight vehicles is being done for commercial application. If these groups are to be successful with commercialization in an extremely cost conscious industry, a highly compact solution to minimize install time and ease maintenance as well as part replacement, will be essential. Proliferating the high capacity compact cable termination to these applications will increase commercial volume and lower product costs. However, commercial application of a high capacity power cable termination will not have to wait for next generation flight vehicles to be developed as there is a current need in the telecommunications industry today for such a termination. Massive copper cable arrays are what currently deliver large quantities of power to complex arrays of data servers in thousands of data centers across the US today. These servers are used to transmit and track all the e-mail, voice mails and texts that are omnipresent in our global culture. Server placement and the quantities used in a typical data center are limited today by the amount of power that can be delivered to support them. In many cases, the weight of the copper cabling is pushing the floor load capacity of the structures that house data centers, forcing facility owners to either pay for empty space, or seek out more expensive, high capacity floor load buildings such as old armories and munitions factories.

Keywords:
power cable, power cable, HTS, Superconducting, cryogenic, high-capacity

Phase II

Phase II year
2022 (last award dollars: 2022)
Phase II Amount
$599,502
The primary technical objective of the Phase I contract was to design a robust, efficient, compact, and lightweight HTS cable termination for high power applications. During the contract, a conceptual termination design was developed along with a system analysis tool. The system analysis tool was developed to help with the evaluation of differing cable and termination configuration options. This tool will help with the development of the most efficient cable system design for any given application and installation requirements. The Phase I work developed tools for designing compact, high power HTS cable terminations. The technical objectives for the Phase II project are to design, build and test a set of Source and Load end DC Cable terminations rated for 1000 Amps and 2 kV operation. These terminations will be designed with shipboard qualification in mind. Additionally, the system design tool will be refined using the data from the testing of this arrangement. Proposed additional technical objectives for an Option 1 to the base contract are to integrate a10-meter cable with connectors into the terminations and test that assembly. The system design tool would also be further refined using this test data. The proposed technical objectives for an Option 2 would be to test the option 1 assembly at high power/voltage and to qualify this 10-meter cable/termination system for shipboard use.

Benefit:
A primary benefit of the HTS power cable is an increase in overall power distribution density, electrical efficiency and fuel savings. High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) are candidates for advanced conductor technology that can be used to increase the power distributed through a single lightweight cable without the necessity of going to higher voltage. Implementation of these technologies requires an HTS power cable termination suitable for shipboard applications. An additional benefit of a HTS cable system is the ability for co-axial or tri-axial cable designs that minimize externally emitted magnetic field thereby having no impact on ship magnetic signature. A compact cable termination will also enable center of gravity favorable power delivery to high elevation loads eliminating the negative weight impact using traditional copper conductors. Additionally, decoupling the cryogenic cooling system from the cable and termination would allow for additionally favorable placement of the heavier cryogenic system components lower in the ship. The existence of a high power, robust compact power cable termination would allow the ship level implementation of several high-power density advanced weapons systems and sensors. Therefore, it is anticipated that the initial customers for the high-capacity compact power cable termination would be the shipbuilding contractors (such as Bath Iron Works, Newport News and Huntington Ingalls) that provide the US Navy with surface combatant platforms that will someday house these advanced weapons systems. The technology would benefit the shipyards by enabling high density energy transfer that will be needed by on future Navy platforms for the energy dense applications previously mentioned. Additionally, HTS cables used in conjunction with the proposed compact termination will provide that energy density at a fraction of the weight than can be provided by conventional copper-based power transfer systems, reducing installation time and effort.

Keywords:
high power density, superconductor, power cable, HTS