Siemens, QUT and Australian Defence join to explore HTS

Siemens, Defence Science and Technology Group and QUT have signed a research agreement to explore the use of high temperature superconducting (HTS) technologies in Australia.

The agreement, which was formalised yesterday at the Pacific 2015 Maritime Exposition in Sydney, will see research conducted into HTS and explore its possible use in Australia’s maritime defence sector.

It is hoped that the findings of the research will transition into technology that can be trialled.

With this partnership, Siemens is investing 15 years of HTS knowledge into Australia to develop the next generation of HTS experts. An initial investment value of approximately AUD$2 million in equipment and resources and AUD$0.5 million in research and development (R&D) hours has been committed, which will increase as new research and development projects are initiated under the collaboration.

Siemens Australia CEO, Jeff Connolly said the partnership opens the possibility of delivering the Australian Navy with more energy-efficient ships and more effective capacity utilisation.

“They will also have less environmental impact and will be cheaper to operate,” Connolly said.

Chief Defence Scientist Dr Alex Zelinksy said the partnership will focus on transitioning research to outcomes that can deal with real world problems, starting with its potential applications to defence.

“This agreement is in line with our strategic goal to partner with the best talents in industry and academia to achieve a capability edge for defence,” Zelinsky said.

QUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Commercialisation, Professor Arun Sharma said the partnership puts the university at the international forefront of superconducting motor research.

 “As the world strives to find more efficient and cleaner ways to power ships and other forms of large-scale transport, QUT will be testing this superconducting motor and at the same time looking at the other potential uses and benefits of this new technology,” he said.

Superconductors show the highest technical current densities available. Compared to copper, a technically applicable and commercially available superconductor “wire” can carry more than 100 times the current within the same cross-section.

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