PARIS — GE’s Power Conversion business has taken an important step in testing a viable way of producing large amounts of electricity from renewable resources using superconductors running at relatively high temperatures, according to a press release.

The company has successfully completed trials of Hydrogenie, a power generator incorporating groundbreaking technologies that enable highly efficient production of electricity in a small space, stated the release.

Hydrogenie makes use of superconductors instead of copper for the rotor windings on the motor, operating at 43 Kelvin or -230°C.

It was tested late last year up to and well beyond its full rated load 1.7 MW spinning at 214 rpm and met expectations and design predictions. The tests were carried out at a GE Power Conversion facility in Rugby, England.

Until recently, superconductivity could only be achieved at around 4K (-269°C). But new “high temperature superconductors” (HTS) exhibit the phenomenon at much higher temperatures.

Such machines will need less complex insulation systems and less powerful cooling than used hitherto on devices such as medical MRI magnets, noted the release.

“This technology is a true breakthrough,” says Martin Ingles, Hydrogenie project manager at GE Power Conversion. “It could radically improve the efficiency of equipment producing electricity from water and from wind and may also be suitable for further applications down the road.”

Read the entire press release here.