U.S. Energy Secretary Visits Brookhaven Lab's ARPA-E Booth

Qiang Li, Ernest Moniz and Martin Rupich enlarge

Brookhaven Lab physicist Qiang Li, left, discusses his research on next-generation superconducting wires with U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, center, and Martin Rupich from Brookhaven Lab partner ASMC.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz stopped by the Brookhaven Lab booth at the ARPA-E meeting in National Harbor, MD on February 24 to speak with Lab physicist Qiang Li and AMSC’s Martin Rupich and discuss their ARPA-E-funded collaborative research on superconducting wires. 

Brookhaven Lab and AMSC (formerly American Superconductor Corporation) received funding from ARPA-E to conduct research on next-generation superconducting wires for use in large (10 MW+) direct-drive wind generators. These high-performance superconducting wires will enable production of superconducting motors and generators with significant performance and cost advantages over permanent magnet technology, as they require less than 1/1000th of the amount of costly and critical rare-earth materials used in permanent magnets. 

Secretary Moniz toured the exhibit floor at the conference on Tuesday, and stopped by about five of the several hundred booths there. 

Secretary Moniz's remarks

“I was thrilled to speak with the Secretary and report to him in person as the project’s principle investigator,” said Qiang Li. “With the ARPA-E funding, we have achieved a more than 200 percent increase of electric current-carrying capacity in commercial production wire made by AMSC, a leading superconductor manufacturer and the partner of this project. A more than 400 percent increase has been demonstrated with embedded nanostructures, an optimized vortex pinning landscape that is the key to the enhanced performance of superconductors.”

Later, during his keynote address to conference participants, Secretary Moniz spoke of the need for technological innovation in the energy sector, noting his belief that advances are more dependent on such innovations than on policy changes. He specifically mentioned Brookhaven Lab and its superconducting wire research, among many ARPA-E-funded projects aimed at developing transformative energy technology.

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