American Superconductor (AMSC) has flagged up its acquisition of exclusive rights to a fundamental high temperature superconductor (HTS) patent in the U.S. The patent covers a broad range of second generation (2G) and similar HTS materials, wire and power-related applications. No further details have been revealed but more information on the patent will be available when AMSC files the details with the US Securities and Exchange Commission later this month.

HTS materials and wire can enable dramatic reductions in the footprint and cost of megawatt-scale electrical equipment, such as power cables, motors and generators. Due to its reduced precious metal requirement and the process that is employed in its manufacturing, 2G wire is expected to be significantly less expensive to produce than first generation HTS wire when in high-volume production. This type of wire is currently being manufactured by many companies around the world, including AMSC.

Although no details are yet available the rights acquisition is likely to centre on AMSC’s Amperium wire, the brand name for its 2G HTS wire. Amperium wire is claimed to offer significantly higher power density and efficiency compared with similar copper-based wire products. As a result, electrical systems that incorporate it are dramatically smaller, lighter and often more cost effective than comparable systems based on copper wire. The wire is manufactured by a proprietary process at AMSC’s headquarters in Devens, Massachusetts – the world’s largest commercial-scale HTS wire manufacturing facility.