Robinson Research Institute's (RRI) journey into commercial applications of HTS

Rod Badcock

Robinson Research Institute

Thursday, August 29, 2019



PSFC Seminars

Abstract: The Robinson Research team have been working with Applied Superconductivity since their patent of BSCCO 2223 in 1988 at the then Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) in New Zealand.  During their work on applied superconductivity with a focus on commercial application, the team has journeyed through varying applications and organizations such as working closely with American Superconductor (AMSC), manufacturing Roebel Cable and delivering high temperature superconductor (HTS) MRI while known as Industrial Research Limited (IRL) before finally becoming part of Victoria University of Wellington five years ago. The Institute is named after Bill Robinson, the inventor of lead rubber bearing (LRB) seismic isolation and the Director at DSIR who formed the team. Rod will show the journey of Robinson Research Institute into commercial application of HTS, and show in more detail some of the highlights of the New Zealand programme. Finally he will explore current work into an interesting class of all HTS magnet power supplies, called HTS dynamos, that have the potential to deliver 1000's of amps without imposing large cryogenic loads.

Bio: Deputy Director of the Robinson Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington. He received his BSc in Physics in 1991 from the University of Leeds (UK), and from Brunel University (UK) both an MSc in Industrial Measurement Systems (1992) and his doctoral degree (1996) with a thesis on embedded optical fibre sensors for battle damage detection in carbon composite aero-structures. From 1996 to 2006 he has led research in structural health monitoring (MoD, Farnborough, ProtoDel, and Cranfield University), including EU projects MILLENIUM, FOSMET, and FOSEN. Since 2006 he has been responsible for the engineering programmes applying HTS materials into electric machines at Robinson Research, Victoria University of Wellington.

He draws on his multi-disciplinary experiences in science, engineering and industrial manufacturing to bring together international teams that deliver substantive outcomes aimed at drastically changing energy usage and production. He was a finalist in the Kiwinet Innovation Awards, along with several Chinese research and business partners, for their high-speed electric train travel project.  The most relevant projects have been the development of the manufacturing and qualification of Roebel Cables for GCS, the design and build of a 1 MVA HTS superconducting power transformer, development of the HTS dynamos for machines and the NZ MBIE programme developing aircraft HTS electric propulsion technology. Rod is recognised as one of the leading experts in the application of HTS dynamos and cables to electric machines.