Section EE (Power Engineering)


Silvio Vaschetto

Politecnico di Torino, Dipartimento Energia,

Torino, Italy

Cryogenic-Cooled and Superconducting Electrical Machines


To achieve the challenging climate-neutral targets imposed by regulations, high efficiencies in the production and use of electricity are of paramount importance for energy savings, as well as high power-to-weight ratios are essential for electrification in various sectors, such as offshore generation and transportation. In this perspective, cryogenic and superconducting rotating electrical machines have been re-emerging as potential solutions to increase the present power density for challenging specific power applications.

Compared with an ambient temperature operation, cryogenic conditions such as in liquid nitrogen (LN2) at 77K (-196°C) allow higher power density and increased efficiency due to the decrease of electric resistivity of conducting materials and increased cooling capability. Furthermore, the operation at cryogenic temperatures paves the way for investigating the use of superconductors (SCs) in the form of tapes, wires, and bulks to replace conventional materials for electrical windings and permanent magnets. Indeed, SCs feature intrinsic near-zero dc resistivity that allows them to achieve high current density values. Therefore, starting from 1-10 MW power sizes, the use of superconducting materials potentially allows an increase in efficiency and a significant reduction in the weights and dimensions of the conversion devices. This talk will present recent results on the analysis and characterization of cryogenic machines, as well as a review of the most recent applications of superconductors to enhance the performance of conventional electrical machines.

Short Bio:

Silvio Vaschetto received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, Italy, in 2007 and 2011, respectively. He then joined ABB IEC LV Motors Technology Center, Vittuone, Italy as an R&D engineer. From 2012 to 2014 he was with Magna Electronics Italy, as Electromagnetic Simulation and Motor Design Engineer. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Energy Department “G. Ferraris”, Politecnico di Torino. His research interests include electromagnetic design, thermal design, and the energetic behavior of electrical machines for high-performance applications. Silvio Vaschetto is an IEEE Senior Member and an Associate Editor for IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS and for IET Electric Power Applications.