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Electric Powered Ships Now A Possibility Thanks To New Superconducting Motors

Superconducting Ship Motor (Image courtesy New Scientist Invention Blog)By Andrew Liszewski

We all know that electric powered vehicles are currently the best option when it comes to efficiency and protecting the environment. But when you see the amount of batteries needed just to power an electric car you can only imagine what would be required to power something like an ocean going freighter.

However engineers have actually been looking into using highly efficient superconducting electric motors to power large ships as an alternative to diesel. Of course the main problem is that superconductors only operate at temperatures close to absolute zero, or about -273.15°C. But Siemens thinks they have found a solution with a new motor they designed that uses high-temperature superconductors that work at about -140°C. By placing these motors in large pods under the ship (like many cruise ships use these days) the surrounding seawater will work as a very efficient cooling system dissipating enough heat for the motor to function at the required temperature.

If you’re interested in the nuts and bolts about how this is supposed to work you can check out the Siemens Patent Application on the US Patent & Trademark Office website.

[ Superconducting ships @ New Scientist Invention Blog ]







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