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Today's announcement from Oak Ridge that Pup referred to is really exciting. Yurek alluded to it in his conference call, but he didn't give any details. Now that I know it's happening at Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL), I am even more impressed. It is a testament to his character and the strength of his strategic alliances that Yurek is still held in such high regard at ORNL and MIT, where he worked previously.

From the American Superconductor site, "Immediately before signing on with American Superconductor as Chief Technical Officer in August 1988, Dr. Yurek served as a consultant to the firm with responsibilities for overseeing the transfer of technology from MIT, for establishing the company's research and development programs, and for creating strategic alliances. From 1976 to 1988, Dr. Yurek was co-director of the H.H. Uhlig Corrosion Laboratory at MIT where he was Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. His work there on the development of corrosion-resistant alloys led to the invention of technology now used in manufacturing HTS wires. Prior to joining the faculty at MIT, Dr. Yurek was a research scientist in the Metals and Ceramics Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory."

While my father was a National Coordinator for Scientific Research, he also served as a consultant at ORNL. He often said that he was working with some of the finest scientific minds in the world at Oak Ridge. (As an aside, when I was teaching in Oak Ridge, it was widely known that there were more doctorates per capita there than any other place in the United States.) ORNL was a premier research facility and produced some of the most dramatic technological advances in chemistry and physics during the 20th century. It seems that tradition is continuing into the 21st century. Bill Madia, Director of ORNL said, "We are excited to join forces with American Superconductor to accelerate the development of this new technology. This is a compliment to the work we have done at Oak Ridge related to finding more efficient ways to transmit electricity in the future."

Quoting from Business Wire today, "We recently announced that we have selected a site in Massachusetts for the world's first commercial manufacturing of HTS wire," said Yurek. "The first commercial HTS power cables, motors, generators and other applications will be introduced on the basis of our first generation wire coming from this plant. We expect the market for these and other applications to expand significantly in the second half of this decade on the basis of our second-generation wire, which will be a form, fit, function replacement for our first generation wire." In an explanation of the technology behind today's announcement, "First- and second-generation HTS wires differ both in terms of wire architecture and the HTS compounds used in the wires. As of now, American Superconductor has over 200 patents, patent applications and licenses related to the manufacture of HTS wires and the applications of superconductors to electric power applications.

In March, after the successful completion of the secondary offering, Yurek told Dow Jones Newswires he is convinced that superconduting cable will "revolutionize" the way electrical power is delivered, comparing it to the way fiber-optics are changing telecommunications. But what is even more important to us as shareholders is his declaration: "We are a manufacturing company and not a research company. His continuing alliances with MIT and ORNL, both with history of breakthroughs in cutting edge technology, make that a certainty.

In my previous post I stated that American Superconductor's future is not dependent upon what is happening now. I reiterate, "With management skills and wise decision-making (both of which this company has consistently shown in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds), American Superconductor can work confidently to bring product to market with years of lead time on other superconducting companies currently struggling to find enough funding to become competitive."

I am continually reading about how other superconducting companies' stocks have shown greater percentage gains recently and are better investments. Look at the bottom line. With the present moratorium on financial backing, as I see it, only American Superconductor has the cutting edge technology, the proprietary position, the management, the strategic alliances, the production capability and the capital to be unaffected by the current volatility and look confidently to the future. As long-term investors, we are "sitting in the catbird seat."


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I know you are invested in the company and so am I. I just read Technology Investor's July edition and they just slam Amercian Superconductor on pages 64 and 65. I mean big time slam. They say it is a whacky technology. If you can, please read it and post a response. Unfortunately, they do not have it on their website.


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Sorry, story is on pages 54-55 in Technology Investor (July).
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I don't have access to the Technologyinvestor magazine.
Could you post pertinent information on what is in the article?

Good Luck.

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If you have some doubts on your investment, just do some research. The so called Wise, called journalists, many times look for an angle to exploit to sell Magazines ! A lot in fact ! Wacky Technology?

Would Pirelli or GE, world leaders in the electric business have alliances with "wacky Technology". Sounds like this author needs to go back to school !

Here is the facts of this technology from a totally BIASED observer. AMSC themseves! Check this out for their website.

Electric Power Applications of Superconductivity

From generators to transformers, transmission and distribution to motors, wire forms the basic building block of the world's electric power system. The discovery of revolutionary high temperature superconducting (HTS) compounds in 1986 led to the development of a radically new type of wire for the power industry—the most fundamental advance in wire technology in more than a century.

In the United States, Europe and Japan, the race is on to commercialize this next-generation wire. American Superconductor's HTS wire offers best-in-class in performance—carrying over one hundred times more current than conventional copper and aluminum conductors of the same dimension. The superior power density of HTS wire will enable a new generation of power industry technologies. It offers major size, weight and efficiency benefits. Working with leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from around the world including Pirelli, ABB and Rockwell Automation; American Superconductor is driving this development. HTS technologies will drive down costs and increase the capacity and reliability of electric power systems in a variety of ways:

High capacity cable capable of transmitting two to five times more power through existing rights of way. This new cable will offer a powerful tool to improve the performance of power grids while reducing their environmental footprint.

Compact, efficient and powerful motors with output ratings of 1000 hp and above. The use of HTS technology enables the design of high-efficiency motors that are dramatically smaller and lighter than the conventional motors they replace.

Inherently safe, environmentally benign and "smart" transformers. Superconductivity enables these devices to automatically limit the spread of dangerous fault currents, offering important system reliability and performance benefits.

HTS technology also enables other applications such as compact and efficient generators that provide fast, reactive power support. These HTS generators can help keep the grid running smoothly in the face of new patterns of power flows brought on by deregulation of power generation throughout the world. Stand-alone fault current limiters represent a new class of devices that will protect power grids from troublesome current surges that can cause costly outages and damage utility system components.

American Superconductor is currently addressing utility and industrial customer demand for grid stabilization and power quality technology through its patented SMES technology. This compact power storage system incorporates conventional low-temperature and revolutionary HTS materials, to smooth voltage disturbances on power grids and in industrial plants.

In the past three decades, electricity has risen from 25% to 40% of end-use energy consumption in the United States. With this rising demand for power comes an increasingly critical requirement for highly reliable, high quality "high-nines" power. As power demands continue to grow, older urban power systems in particular are being pushed to the limit of performance, calling for new solutions. Throughout the electric power industry, from production through transmission and distribution to end-use, superconductivity is forming the basis for a new set of technologies that will revolutionize the way the world uses electricity. American Superconductor, with its HTS wire technology and network of alliances with leading OEMs, is leading the way.

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