Using super conducting materials in induction furnaces for aluminium and copper can reduce the loss and improve efficiency. SINTEF Energy Research has taken the initiative and is leading an EU project to develop such techniques to be trialled in an industrial project.
Induction furnaces normally use AC currents, but for super conducting materials the key word is direct current. By utilising direct current, a super conducting material coil can generate a magnetic field without loss. The induced current is achieved by the metal material being heated rotating in the magnetic field. The idea is to produce a prototype that can be trialled at a Polish extrusion plant. This will consist of a 50cm long aluminium bolt that will rotate in a strong magnetic field. SINTEF will design and construct the electromagnetic system and super conducting material coils.