Coated conductors for power applications: materials challenges

sust490440f3_online X.Obradors and T. Puig Molina Supercond. Science & Technology 27, 044003 (2014) DOI:10.1088/0953-2048/27/4/044003 This manuscript reports on the recent progress and the remaining materials challenges in the development of coated conductors (CCs) for power applications and magnets, with a particular emphasis on the different initiatives being active at present in Europe. We first summarize the scientific and technological scope where CCs have been raised as a complex technology product and then we show that there exists still much room for performance improvement. The objectives and CC architectures being explored in the scope of the European project EUROTAPES are widely described and their potential in generating novel breakthroughs emphasized. The overall goal of this project is to create synergy among academic and industrial partners to go well beyond the state of the art in several scientific issues related to CCs’ enhanced performances and to develop nanoengineered CCs with reduced costs, using high throughput manufacturing processes which incorporate quality control tools and so lead to higher yields. Three general application targets are considered which will require different conductor architectures and performances and so the strategy is to combine vacuum and chemical solution deposition approaches to achieve the targeted goals. A few examples of such approaches are described related to defining new conductor architectures and shapes, as well as vortex pinning enhancement through novel paths towards nanostructure generation. Particular emphasis is made on solution chemistry approaches. We also describe the efforts being made in transforming the CCs into assembled conductors and cables which achieve appealing mechanical and electromagnetic performances for power systems. Finally, we briefly mention some outstanding superconducting power application projects being active at present, in Europe and worldwide, to exemplify the strong advances in reaching the demands to integrate them in a new electrical engineering paradigm.

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