By Houston Business Journal

The University of Houston will lead a public-private research team that has been awarded $3.1 million by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a low-cost superconducting wire that could be used to power future wind turbines.

This support is part of the DOEâ¿¿s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Engergy program, which recently awarded $156 million to 60 cutting-edge research projects designed to improve how the U.S. produces and uses energy.

UH, in conjunction with SuperPower Inc., the DOEâ¿¿s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Tai-Yang Research and TECO-Westinghouse Motor Co., will develop an efficient, low-cost high-temperature superconducting wire to use in future advanced wind turbine generators.

This breakthrough technology is a key enabling technology for other electromagnetic devices as well.

Venkat ⿿Selva⿝ Selvamanickam, M.D. Anderson Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering, director of the Applied Research Hub of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston and Chief Technology Advisor for SuperPower, will lead the research project.

This is the second ARPA-E grant awarded to projects involving superconducting research at UH in partnership with SuperPower, the first member of the UH Applied Research Hub.

Last September, UH, SuperPower and two other institutions received a $4.2 million grant to develop an affordable, large-scale superconducting magnet energy storage system device.

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals

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