COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The global market for Superconducting Wire will reach US$1. 4 billion by 2027 as energy demand pickup pace in the post COVID-19 period and efforts are gradually refocused on energy efficiency and sustainability. An important part of energy sustainability is the lossless energy transport enabled by zero electrical resistance superconducting power lines. Although the COVID-19 pandemic will derail growth in the immediate term as the energy sector chokes amid lockdown led plummeting energy consumption rates and fears of a looming global recession, the long-term growth fundamentals nevertheless remains secure tied to a sustainable future. The state of "losslessness" was always an elusive goal of research on electrical conductivity until the discovery of superconductivity. Defined as a material that conducts electricity in a manner that allows free flow of electricity from one atom to another without resistance and without generation of heat, superconductors are a breakthrough in the field of electrical conductivity. They represent perfect manifestation of macroscopic quantum phenomena. Promising features of superconductivity comprise flux quantization, perfect diamagnetism, perfect conductivity as well as the Josephson Effect. The zero electrical resistance of superconductors makes the technology attractive for a wide range of applications. The zero electrical resistance implies that superconductors generate no heat, sound or any other emissions and are therefore environment friendly. The technology is therefore generating immense interest in potential application areas such as generators, motors, and power transmission lines. In the field of electricity transmission, superconductor cables flaunt the capacity to transport high current densities by over 7 times as compared to current copper transmission lines and technology. They enable the much awaited ability to increase power without higher voltages, and without generating hazardous electromagnetic interference.
With governments` worldwide shedding strong focus on smart city initiatives, superconducting power lines are forecast to receive their fair share of publicity given their ability to significantly reduce transmission losses, and provide cheap and adequate power to cities. Superconducting power lines eliminate the need to dig up streets for underground conduits and/or acquiring property for laying underground transmission lines. The ability to retrofit existing conduits with superconducting cables provides huge infrastructure cost savings for governments already burdened with financial deficits. The technology also holds the potential to develop motors and generators that are lighter, smaller and energy efficient. Continuous technology development and the incredible pace of advancements have helped push superconductor performance limits including their ability to operate at extremely high higher temperatures and magnetic fields. In the electronics industry, the superior benefits of superconductors promise a possible replacement of the conventional copper wire with superconductor wire. The rise of high temperature semiconductors and electronics and the resulting design and reliability challenges will positively benefit the use of superconductors in the field of semiconductors. Already being commercialized are superconductor wires manufactured from Nb3Sn (niobium-tin) and NbTi (niobium-titanium). Doping-induced superconductivity in covalent semiconductors also represents a key trend benefiting growth prospects in this space.