Based at Victoria University in Wellington, the Robinson Research Institute is a leading producer of high temperature superconducting (HTS) technologies (materials that carry electrical currents with zero resistance at low temperatures).
The partnership with STI allows the Texas-based company to tap into Robinson’s expertise as it develops a new innovative and high performance HTS wire called “Conductus”.
The wire will be used in the magnet, generator and transformer markets.
The benefit of the new wire is its ability to have lower fire risks and reduced environmental impacts, while providing high reliability and exhibiting greater power transmissions, says STI’s president and CEO Jeff Quiram.
He says the Robinson Research Institute has been a valuable ally in preparations for the commercial launch of Conductus wires.
“Robinson’s wire-performance characterisation expertise and applications knowledge are truly impressive,” he says.
“As STI moves to full production, we are implementing a comprehensive plan to supply Conductus wires and support global leaders in the commercialisation of superconducting devices,” says Quiram.
Professor Bob Buckley, director of the Research Institute says the new STI wire technology will pave the way for future products that require best in-class wire performance.
He says there are applications in health diagnostics imaging, including for MRI scanners and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
Buckley believes the recent agreement will help STI expand its research into the fast-growing Asian market.
STI's annual report states the Conductus wire's competitors as: American Superconductor, SuperPower, SuNam , Fujikura, and THEVA, among others.
The company warned investors in the annual report that "we have had a history of losses and may never become profitble. Read annual report here
More about STI: Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the company has developed more than a 100 patents as well as proprietary trade secrets and manufacturing expertise in superconducting wires.