Recognizing the vital importance of electricity and the promise of superconductivity, the International Energy Agency fostered an Agreement among nations and firms to assess the likely impact of recent advances in superconductivity on the power sector. One result is this web site, some parts of which are intended for the public and other parts for Agreement members.
  • TEPCO has begun a year long, in-grid test of HTS cable
    page-0Since October, 2012, in its outdoors Asahi substation, TEPCO has been operating an AC three phase cable (66kV/200MVA) made by Sumitomo with refrigeration by Mayekawa. Each of the cable’s three phases incorporates PPLP and two kinds of SEI’s DI-BSSCO wound on a solid copper former and all three phases are enclosed by one cryostat (OD 240mm). LN2 coolant flows in one direction. A year of in-grid operation is planned to ascertain the cable’s reliability, stability, and required maintenance. Now the refrigeration requires 20W/W; Mayekawa hopes to reduce this to 10W/W in one to two years. TEPCO is attracted by the possibility of sending high power through small diameter ducts with high efficiency.
  • Furukawa is testing one phase of a 275kV HTS cable in Shenyang City, China
    Furukawa has begun a month long factory test of a 30m long, single phase (3 kA) of what would be a three phase HTS AC cable. It incorporates REBaCuO made in Japan’s M-PACC project. This is wound around a hollow copper former. The PLPP insulation in the single phase (OD less than 150mm) is suitable for a 275 kV cable. Furukawa states that such a three phase cable could convey the same power as three conventional 275kV, 1kA cables. Such cables are often housed in tunnels, while Furukawa believes its HTS cables are suitable for much less expensive pipes. Outdoor terminations and a joint have been built and will be tested. Notably, after the 3kA cable was subject to 63kA over current for 0.6seconds, the cable’s temperature rose less than 20K and it recovered in less than 10minutes.

  • For underground cable, HTS’s price comes closer than before to copper’s
    Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) now offers DI-BSSCO™, well suited for underground power cable (cooled by liquid nitrogen), in the price range 10,000–15,000 ¥/kA•m = $130–195 $/kAm (roughly twice today’s price of copper for cable). This convergence reflects both SEI’s improvements in process and product and today’s price of copper. Though more expensive, HTS enables much more power to flow through existing tunnels and ducts, promising savings by avoiding the cost of additional ones needed for additional copper cables. Also relevant, SEI states its capacity is now 1,000 km/yr..
  • RWE will soon demonstrate world’s longest HTS cable in Essen, Germany
    A two year test in the grid of a resistive HTS fault current limiter and a 1 km long HTS cable – the world’s longest – will soon start. Because such cables’ materials  and design (triaxial) enable high power to move at low voltage, power might simply be transformed from 110 kV to 10 kV on the city’s outskirts then conveyed by HTS cable to the city center, eliminating the need for and cost of a MV substation. Nexans will fabricate the cable, 10kV/2.3kA/40MVA, from 80km of Sumitomo’s Bi-2223 HTS wire (~4mm wide) which will be cooled by liquid nitrogen that will make a roundtrip within the triaxial cable. ITEP/KIT is characterizing both the cable’s HTS and its insulator.
  • InnoPower’s 220 kV Saturated Core FCL Is Now Installed on China’s Grid
    The many utilities that wish to limit faults on their HiVoltage transmission lines will take great interest in a demonstration that has just begun at the Shigezhuan substation in Tianjin, China. A saturated core FCL, designed and built by InnoPower has just been installed on a three phase, 50-Hz, 220-kV, 0.8-kA, 300-MVA line.
  • Prototype 115 kV FCL Meets its
    Design Goals
    To the many utilities that wish to limit faults on their more than 100kV lines, the results of recent tests will be welcome news. Realizing its own design, Siemens, with its partners Nexans (HV terminations) and AMSC (HTS tape), constructed a single phase, resistive HTS FCL that met its design goals during recent 115 kV tests at PowerTech Labs in Surrey, BC, Canada.

High-Temperature Superconductivity:
Where We Are and Why We Are Going Forward

All around the world, privately held firms are striving to make economically viable engineering materials from high-temperature superconductors (HTS). These firms, together with their many partners in the national laboratories and universities, have already demonstrated the technical feasibility of pre-commercial HTS equipment. The next step is to produce low-cost, high-reliability HTS material and equipment.

This goal attracts such effort because HTS promises to improve the generation, transmission, distribution and use of electric power — a world-wide desire that, once fulfilled, will have substantial economic and environmental benefits. Simply put, more power and less environmental impact.

With such promise and such a technical challenge, in a time of governmental austerity, organizations around the world have come together, under the auspices of the International Energy Agency, in a cooperative effort to exchange information, share perspectives and reliably evaluate the status and assess the prospects for future use of HTS by the electric power sector. Indeed, this web site is one result of that effort.

Character of collaboration

Participants share the costs of funding an Operating Agent which prepares reports on topics of mutual interest. The Participants also contribute to the work of the Operating Agent by determining priorities and contributing their knowledge to reports. From time-to-time workshops on specific topics are organized to further the understanding of issues and, where appropriate, to develop collaborative research projects. Utility groups such as KEPRI and Hydro-Quebec and manufacturers such as Bruker HTS, Columbus Superconductors, and Siemens, as well as, government research laboratories and universities participate in the activities of the Programme. Further, firms and other institutions within each member nation have been generous with their help.

Our members