Advanced Conductor Technology announces securing $1.6Mn grant

Advanced Conductor Technologies LLC, U.S.-based firm that designs and develops superconducting power cables, has reportedly secured a grant worth USD 1.6 million from U.S. DoE’s Advanced Research Project Agency with an aim to develop compact superconducting power cable solutions for deployment in proposed twin-aisle electric aircraft.

For the record, the project will be supported by researchers from the Center for Advanced Power System at Florida State University and Los Alamos National Laboratory and has been established to advance the cable connectors and power-distribution cables to meet electric aviation application needs.

Notably, the investment will benefit from the US firm’s highly-advanced superconducting  ‘Conductor on Round Core’ cables technology that has been created which is suitable with various types of coolants like liquid hydrogen or cryogenic helium gas – a carbon-free fuel which is likely to be used in future aircraft.

Danko van der Laan, Founder, and President of Advanced Conductor Technologies were reportedly quoted stating that the firm is working towards developing superconducting cable solutions that would deliver the power of nearly 50MW to the electric motors of the future planes, which is the amount of power needed to facilitate take-offs for large passenger aircraft that are twin-aisle.

Danko also mentioned the liquid hydrogen fuel which may be used for these aircraft will cool the superconducting cables, eliminating the need for heavy cryocoolers.

It is worth mentioning that a research team from Florida State University’s Centre for Advanced Power System will work with ACT and help with testing of dielectric materials for superconducting cables to meet the desired voltage rating, while Los Alamos will assist in the development of a fault-current monitoring aspect of the superconducting cable, that may help control an overcurrent case of an electrical fault prior to the activation of slower circuit breakers. This will add additional safety to the entire electrical system of the aircraft.

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