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State of the art applied superconductivity laboratory is opened

Launch of super conductivity laboratory

The University has opened a new applied superconductivity laboratory to help advance the technologies for energy and transportation power systems.

As the energy system transitions from fossil fuels to renewables in the drive towards net zero carbon operation, superconducting technologies could play an invaluable role in delivering the required power densities.

The technologies could also help contribute to the realisation of higher power systems that are critical to the electrification of flight.

Superconductivity is when a material stops resisting an electric current and allows it to pass through it freely, without any apparent energy loss as a result.

The practical applications of superconductors are still being investigated, but one of the most widely used applications is hospital MRI machines, which work by using a superconducting magnet.

A launch event at Strathclyde brought together academics and industry partners with an interest in applied superconductivity and power-dense technologies and systems.

Key technologies

Vice-Principal of the University, Professor Scott MacGregor, said: “I’m delighted to formally open the new laboratory, which will be investigating the key technologies that will be required for a lower carbon energy system and the electrification of flight.

“Its location within the Technology and Innovation Centre and our collaborations with other Strathclyde facilities will establish a unique combination of superconducting technology, electrical power systems and manufacturing methods specialists.“

The new laboratory will contribute to major advances, working together with other key facilities, including the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) and the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).

A core team of 12 researchers will be supported by the wider team of around 270 electrical power specialists in the Institute for Energy and Environment at Strathclyde.

Collaborative partners on existing work include Airbus and Epoch Wires. Programme funders include the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council  (EPSRC) and Innovate UK, both part of UK Research and Innovation, the British Council, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, who also funded two Engineering research fellowships for the new laboratory’s academic leads.

Anyone interested in learning more and collaborating with the Applied Superconductivity Laboratory, can contact Professor Weiijia Yuan or Dr Min Zhang.