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Author Topic: Will Room Temp Superconductivity Save Us Energy?  (Read 4087 times)

Heronumber0

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Will Room Temp Superconductivity Save Us Energy?
« on: 27/07/2007 16:08:35 »
Just watching the Rail Strategy Statement in the Parliament on the TV (yes I am a boring anorak) put a thought in my mind about the use of the Mag Lev principle for British trains which led to a thought about superconductivity.

If CO2 levels rise from power generation and transmission to consumers, is it possible to reduce the energy required to transmit the electricity by using superconductors?

In fact, if you can have room temperature superconducting materials, won't levels of energy use be thoroughly reduced because not as much will be wasted by heat?

Here is a good candidate for such a material: Magnesium diboride
http://superconductors.org/39K.htm
« Last Edit: 27/07/2007 17:13:24 by Heronumber0 »


 

Offline that mad man

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Re: Will Room Temp Superconductivity Save Us Energy?
« Reply #1 on: 27/07/2007 17:31:01 »
Although magnesium Diboride is a classed as a hig temp superconductor it only works as a superconductor at a temperature of 39 degrees kelvin. That is still a very very cold temperature to achieve in normal situations.

39 degrees Kelvin = around -234 celsius

Average room temp is around 293 kelvin

So, I think it will be a very long time till any everyday useful superconductor will be in use.
 

Heronumber0

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Will Room Temp Superconductivity Save Us Energy?
« Reply #2 on: 27/07/2007 17:45:59 »
OK. But using the principle that yielded magnesium diboride, it must be possible, eventually, to use superconducting materials at room temperature of with minimum temperature.
 

another_someone

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Will Room Temp Superconductivity Save Us Energy?
« Reply #3 on: 27/07/2007 22:46:13 »
OK. But using the principle that yielded magnesium diboride, it must be possible, eventually, to use superconducting materials at room temperature of with minimum temperature.

I am no expert in the matter, but my own feeling is that if one is to ever achieve room temperature superconduction, it will probably need to develop novel mechanisms that are quite different to what we have at the moment to achieve a further jump of 260 kelvin.
 

Heronumber0

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Will Room Temp Superconductivity Save Us Energy?
« Reply #4 on: 28/07/2007 02:19:53 »
There may be other materials even superior to Magnesium diboride and, given incremental increases in knolwdege of the mechanisms of superconductors, eventually may lead to a material capable of room temperature superconductivity.  I think Magnesium diboride has two layers of electrons which travel in many Cooper pairs under superconductive conditions. It would certainly help the energy crisis with regard to fossil fuel energy surely.
 

another_someone

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Will Room Temp Superconductivity Save Us Energy?
« Reply #5 on: 28/07/2007 02:24:49 »
There may be other materials even superior to Magnesium diboride and, given incremental increases in knolwdege of the mechanisms of superconductors, eventually may lead to a material capable of room temperature superconductivity.  I think Magnesium diboride has two layers of electrons which travel in many Cooper pairs under superconductive conditions. It would certainly help the energy crisis with regard to fossil fuel energy surely.

I think the emphasis is the incremental increase in knowledge, because I think the temperature range would have to be more of a quantum leap than an incremental increase.

Nonetheless, if we did find something that was a room temperature superconductor, and assuming it was cheap, and sufficiently rugged, it could indeed improve the efficiency of electricity transmission (which at present costs about 30% of the electrical power we generate).

Aside from reducing the energy cost of electricity transmission, it could have endless other possible applications (depending on the physical qualities of the material).  If it could be made light enough (possibly by coating a plastic balloon with it), one might ask whether it might levitate in the Earth's magnetic field.  It might also be used for fabricating computers that have massive processor power with no heat being generated.
« Last Edit: 28/07/2007 02:32:57 by another_someone »
 

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Will Room Temp Superconductivity Save Us Energy?
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