HTSrs - The Tool for Energy Efficiency and a Healthy Environment

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Low energy efficiency of conventional power plants, industries and other power utilities are responsible for excessive unproductive power losses, depletion of natural resources, environmental pollution, and climate change conditions. Conventional transportation, thermal power plants, electrical gadgets and obsolete technologies contribute many harmful gases, suspended particulate matters and noise, which are responsible for a number of chronic diseases and global warming effects. Acid rainfall is a result of high concentrations of SOx, NOx, Cl2, and CO2 in the atmosphere, which damage flora and fauna, monuments, human health, etc. High temperature superconductors (HTSrs) can solve many of these problems, says the author
What are HTSrs

During 1986-87, HTSy discovered at 35 0K in the LaBaCuO compound and subsequently the YBaCuO compound found high temperature super-conducting at 93 0K that works efficiently at the boiling point of liquid nitrogen (77 0K). At present, HTSy has been recorded at temperatures of 35-274 0K in oxides, di-boride, fullerences (C60) and non-oxide superconducting compounds. But, YBaCuO, BiSrCaCuO, HgBaCaCuO, TlBaCaCuO, MgB2, C60 (Carbon nano-tube technology), etc, superconducting materials- based designs can work efficiently in industrial operation, electrical gadgets, pumps, motors, lubricants free hybrid superconducting magnetic bearings (HSMB), home appliances, power T&D, winding wire, electronic devices, SQUIDs, space applications, medical equipments, G-3 communication, generators, magnets, computers, etc, to overcome electrical power losses (H = I 2R), environmental pollution, and excess fossil fuels consumption. These factors are mainly given due to the lower Jc and high resistance of the used normal conductors (NCrs) (Cu and Al), conventional superconductors (Nb3Sn, Nb3Ge, etc), CMBs and lower level of energy efficiency of conventional technologies.

HTSrs can reduce conductor losses, conventional mechanical bearings (CMBs) friction losses, use of lubricants, consumption of natural resources, and environmental pollution problems. Following the discovery of HTSrs, physicists and technologists across the world are working at developing HTSr-based energy-efficient electrical gadgets, power utility systems and power generators. Many research institutes and companies - BHU, BHEL, NPL, Reliance Electric Corp., (India); TCSUH, IGC (NY), American Superconductors Corporation, (USA); CAN Superconductors, Czech Republic; CESI, Milan, Italy; Super GM, Japan, etc - are developing low-weight and small-size electrical gadgets, HSMB, wires and cables, magnetic transportation (Trans-rapid), levitation technology and NDT equipments. NCrs based oversize and heavy electrical gadgets, power T&D, generators and other power utility systems give lower level of energy efficiency and excessive power losses in the form of heat (H), causing rapid depletion of precious natural resources.

Main Features of HTSrs

  • During the flow of electrons, used HTSrs show almost zero or minimum resistance.
  • HTSrs follow the property of Meissner effect (perfect superconductor repels the applied magnetic field (H) from its interior surface when its material is cooled below its transition temperature (Tc) and H is maintained below its upper critical field [Hc2]). Perfect superconductors follow the properties of diamagnetic. Expulsion of H from the exterior surface of HTSr creates levitation technology to form HSMB, maglevs and magnetic shields (Figure 1).
  • HTSrs are effective in making SQUIDs, ultra-sensitive sensors and ultra-fast switches.
  • HTSrs work efficiently for carrying larger critical current density (Jc) in the superconducting state, at T< [T]). operation of temperature on dependent is it vanishes; used conductor resistance the which below (Tc>
    Energy-efficient HTSrs
  • Technologies of HTSrs such as HSMB eliminate lubrication processes and loss of power, because of the levitation or suspension property of HTSrs; the rotor shaft of machines (such as motor, generators, turbines, flywheel energy storage system, compressor, etc) is levitated in adequate space without metal-to-metal contact. Thus, HSMB is more beneficial in terms of low power consumption, energy efficiency boost up, minimum maintenance, low operation cost, and unproductive losses.
  • Because of increasing rate of Jc of HTSrs (> 106 Amp/Cm2 at 77 0K), size, weight and conductor loss (H) of motors, generators and power T&D cables can be reduced, thus improving its working efficiency.
  • The thin film of HTSrs for infrared sensors, filters flux flow transistors, SQUIDs, microwave cavity are more effective and efficient.
  • A magnetic levitated (Maglevs) train levitates above the track (as it is a wheel-less vehicle) and can run smoothly at about 600 km/hr (or more) without noise, environmental emissions and vibration. Maglevs work on the following three principles: magnetic levitation, lateral guidance, and propulsion. The proposed HTSr- based maglev car can consume only a friction of fuel compared to the conventional car covering the same distance. HTSrs in transportation can replace the highly expensive conventional process, and help in substantial reduction of vehicular pollution. Many countries such as the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, India and China are in the process of establishing similar magnetic transportation systems and other types of highly efficient vehicles.

Cause of Power Losses and Environmental Pollution

Numerous conventional vehicles, inefficient industrial processes, power generation plants, modernization and NCr based designs need colossal fossil fuels derived energy that result in excess power losses and huge environmental pollutants (fly ash, hot water, slug, gases, noise, odor, metals, electromagnetic currents, etc). Large amounts of GHG emissions (CO2, CO, N2O, CH4, etc) may increase the atmospheric average temperature by more than 4.0 0C by the year 2100. Effects of climate change conditions and global warming can be seen in the form of increasing sea levels (0.3 mm-0.5 mm per year), cyclonic winds, floods, heat waves (14,802 people died due to intense heat in France in August 2003), melting of glaciers and ice caps, and freezing of CO2 at the poles. Many scientific studies are showing that only energy-efficient technologies can achieve a major target in the reduction of GHG (CO2) emissions below the 1990 levels (355 ppm) by 2012 but the increased rate of methane may be more dangerous than CO2.

Most of the electric power generated is lost in the form of heat (H) in a conventional overhead and lubricants cooled underground power T&D system, which is about 20-40 percent of the total power supplied. Excessive electrical power and fossil fuels (lubricants) are being consumed to reduce CMBs frictional force and to maintain the lubrication processes system, where the lubrication process is applied in conventional electrical gadgets and CMB based high-speed industrial rotordynamic machines. Large amounts of air pollutants are also released from the industries where conventional heavy weight winding wire, cables, motors, and electronic devices are manufactured. Conventional vehicles consume colossal fuel oil in the inefficient combustion process and emit numerous air pollutants into the environment. But, maglevs are free from environmental pollutions. Now, HTSrs are ready to replace conventional processes.

Status of Vehicles and Fossil Fuels Demand

Number of vehicles in the year 1939, 1947, 1951 and 1993 were about 144,296, 168,368, 300,000 and 25,340,000 in India, respectively. In 2000, the number of vehicles in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai was 2,630,000, 724,000, 561,000 and 812,000, respectively. An average car per thousand population was 1.8 in 1990 as compared to 3.5 in 2004. In the USA and Canada, the number of cars per thousand population was about 555 and 454 (1988), respectively. In the world, the number of cars was about 53 million in 1950 and 400 million in 1990, respectively. This number may increase over one billion by the year 2025. As per the estimation of the IEA, consumption of fuel oil in transport vehicles will increase from 47 percent (2000) to 55 percent by 2030. Average electric power consumption in the world was 3,200 kWh in 1999; in India the per capita power consumption was about 390 kWh in 2004. India is a lesser polluter in the world.

Conventional vehicles are the major contributors of millions of tons of environmental pollutants and GHGs, which are dangerous for both present and future generations. The demand for electrical power and fossil fuels is increasing continuously due to a growing population, modernization, transportation, and industrialization as the projection of fossil fuels demand is given in Table.

Table: World Energy Demand for the year 2020







Coal Billion Joules 2.20 3.90 5.80 8.80
Oil   18.0 34.0 31.0 17.0
Gas Billion Barrels 46.0 77.0 143.0 12.0
Nuclear Trillion Cuft 2.0 23.0 88.0 314.0
Hydraulic Exajoules 14.0 24.0 34.0 56.0
Unconventional Exajoules 00 00 0.60 6.40
Solar, Biomass and geothermal Billion Barrels oil equivales 26.0 33.0 56.0 100.0

Health Effects of Environmental Pollution

Power generation plants and automobiles contribute about 80 percent of the air pollutants in the environment. Emitted gases (SOx, NOx, Cl2, and CO2) are the root cause of acidic rainfall (PH<5.6) on the earth, which damages the ecological system, monuments, buildings, forests, etc. Acid rain also impacts the physiological status of plants and forests. CO2 reacts with rainwater to form carbonic acid that again reacts with the rocks to form carbonate sediment which subse-quently enters the seabed. Many scientists suggest that accumulation of CO2 may double (875 ppm) than the present level (375 ppm) by 2100. This increasing rate of CO2 will reduce the PH value of seawater, which will be harmful to the whole aquatic world. Acid concentration in rivers, ponds and water stream damages life cycles of fish, human health, and vegetation. In most of the metropolitan cities, the problem of atmospheric air pollution is due to colossal consumption of fossil fuels in inefficient conventional transportation and power generation processes. It is estimated that each year about 4.2 million children are prone to death due to respiratory diseases and about 15 million due to polluted water. Mortality in children and adults due to air pollution is more in developing countries. It has also been reported in the many studies that millions of people in the world are prone to respiratory tract infection, lung disease, mental retardation, and kidney diseases owing to high concentration of pollutants in soil, air, and water.

In a study J.D. Jackson from the University of California, USA, contends that with increase in power production and consumption, cancer diseases such as leukemia and brain cancer too have increased between 1900 and 1990, especially in developed countries (USA). Selection of energy-efficient technology, therefore, is the most important tool to reduce losses in fossil fuels and electric power, as they are the main cause of problems of environmental pollution. Extensive R&D is necessary for HTSrs to catch up with emerging trends in modern technology.


Lower performance and lower energy efficiency of conventional processes are responsible for excessive electrical power losses, fossil fuels consumption and problems of environmental pollution. HTSrs can be applied to achieve energy efficiency in all types of power utility systems and power generation processes. Upgrading of technology is more essential to minimize power losses, environ-mental pollution and to avoid their adverse impacts. Technological advancements in HTSrs promise a clean environment, healthy life and energy-efficient system.

For further information please contact

Hambir Singh,
SO (SG), Production Department,
National Fertilizers Ltd,
Vijaipur Unit,
Guna (Madhya Pradesh)
Tel: (07544) 273907