High temperature superconducting fibers are materials which are used for making superconductors at high temperatures. These fibers exhibit the cross cutting potential in various industries such as energy, optics, healthcare, and electromagnetism. The major end user industries of high temperature superconducting fibers include transportation, medical and healthcare, electronics, energy and research and development among others. Although extensive research has been done on superconductivity over the past few decades to make it suitable for increasing number of applications, superconductivity has yet to see collaboration with fiber optics. Usually, high temperature superconducting materials such as yttrium barium copper oxide with a superconducting fiber are preferred for wide range of applications. High temperature superconductor induced magnets are significantly used in fusion reactors producing large magnetic fields. However these magnets usually stop operating when a part of superconducting coil enters the normal (resistive) state. To nullify this, manufacturers are focused towards developing strain and temperature sensors based on fiber optics.
The global market for high temperature superconducting fibers has been witnessing a significant increase on account of growth from its end user industries. Demand for these fibers is anticipated to be driven by breakthroughs and innovations in the field of superconductivity for various applications such as transformation and storage, transmission, and electric energy generation. The market for HTS fibers is expected to grow significantly due to increasing demand for high temperature superconductors for the production of electric power equipments such as power cabling, energy storage, fault current limiters, motors, transformers, and generators. In addition, increasing energy prices, growing demand for sustainable energy production and energy conservation as well as rising energy consumption is also expected to contribute to boost the demand for high temperature superconductors, thereby driving the market for high temperature superconducting fibers over the forecast period.
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Among the overall superconductor industry, high temperature superconductors are anticipated to gain the maximum market share owing to its ability to enable the production of fault tolerant transmission solutions. The technology of high temperature superconductivity largely depends on continuous government support for research and development projects which are focused on developing new and innovative superconducting materials, as these technology based developments posses longer lead times running into 15 to 20 years and higher risk levels, in addition to being capital intensive. Emerging regions such as Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest groth rate over the forecast period owing to growing demand from various industrialized economies such as Korea, India and China. In addition, in the overall superconductor market, high temperature super conductors are expected to witness fastest growth rate in the region as compared to low temperature superconductors. On account of these factors demand for high temperature superconducting fibers is expected to rise at an above average rate over the next few years. Companies such as American Superconductor Corporation serve as one of the leading players in the superconductor industry which develops various products for their use in wind and grid markets.
The company in June 2014 received a production order of USD 40 million from Inox Wind Limited to develop wind energy electrical control systems (ECS) for its use in wind turbines and its expansion in India. AMSC plans to ship the products during the second quarter of fiscal 2014 and expects to complete the process by 2015. This project serves as the sixth as well as the largest order given to AMSC by Inox Wind Limited. Previously in 2008, AMSC was also responsible for supplying superconductor wires in the Holbrook Superconductor Project for the production of superconducting transmission power cable.
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AMSC, Bruker Energy & Supercon Technologies, Inc., Hyper Tech Research, Inc., Superconducting Technologies, Inc., and SuperPower, Inc. are some of the key players present in the high temperature superconducting fibers industry.