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.
  •            Siemens to use a SFCL to Build the Future Power Grid in Germany

    Siemens FCL A SFCL with a rated current of 817 amperes will secure the connection between Stadtwerke Augsburg’s grid and an industrial company. When in operation in early 2016, an energy load with a maximum feed-in power of 15 megawatts will be fed from the company’s grid into the Stadwerke’s grid. Without appropriate measures, this load would exceed the permissible short-circuit level. During the field test, a short-circuit limiting reactor, which will be used as a backup solution, will be bypassed by a superconducting fault current limiter.
  •                                    HVDC HTS Cable Energized in Korea

    Jeju termination
    In October 2014, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), LS Cable & System, and AMSC announced that a HVDC HTS cable was energized on Jeju Island’s smart grid demonstration site. The 500 meter, 80kV DC cable was powered by AMSC's Amperium® HTS wire and installed in KEPCO's electricity grid on Jeju Island. The cable operated as expected and ran through December 2014. KEPCO is also conducting type testing for a one kilometer, 154kV AC cable system that utilizes AMSC's wire at the same location.
  • Field testing results of the first Italian SFCL project
    page-0RSE and A2A Reti Elettriche collaborated to design, develop, test, and install Italy’s first SFCL device (12 kV/4.6 MVA). The device is located in Milan and provides single feeder protection for an in-grid medium-voltage application. In April 2014, the team completed two years of field testing; coincidentally, this was around the same time the device limited a real short circuit. This was the first time in the world that an SFCL limited a fault current in-grid. The project is now offline and starting phase 2, where it will be upgraded to 9 kV/15.6 MVA and serve four feeders.
  • RWE demonstrates world’s longest HTS cable in Essen, Germany
    page-0In April 2014, RWE integrated the world’s longest superconductor cable into Essen’s power grid. The 1 km cable and SFCL are starting a two-year field operation funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The cable’s materials and design (triaxial) enable high power to move at low voltage, eliminating the need for and cost of a medium-voltage substation. Nexans fabricated the cable, 10 kV/2.3 kA/40 MVA, from 80 km of Sumitomo’s Bi-2223 HTS wire (~4 mm wide), which is cooled by liquid nitrogen that will make a round-trip within the triaxial cable. ITEP/KIT characterized both the cable’s superconductor and its insulator. The project has already gathered valuable experience when installing the cable and assembling the components.
  • SFCL at Central Hudson in New York
    page-0Applied Materials’ SFCL was energized on the Central Hudson grid in New York in July 2014. The SFCL is located at a 115/14.4 kV substation that operates at 22 MVA. The SFCL is cooled using two modular refrigeration units that have redundant capability. The SFCL is operating as expected. Teaming with Central Hudson on this project are Applied Materials, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, SuperPower Inc. and Three-C Electrical Co.
  • TEPCO completes a year-long, in-grid test of an HTS cable
    page-0In December 2013, TEPCO successfully completed a little more than one year of in-grid operation of an HTS cable at the Asahi substation in Yokohama, Japan. The system is an AC three-phase cable (66 kV/200 MVA) made by Sumitomo Electric using DI-BSSCO, with refrigeration by Mayekawa MFG. Co. Ltd. It exhibited stable operation against a rapid change in atmospheric temperature and a forced transport current. The test showed there was no degradation of the superconducting material or the electrical insulation characteristics of the cable, despite harsh operating conditions. To demonstrate the viability of HTS cable systems, TEPCO is conducting additional safety tests and testing higher-efficiency refrigeration systems.

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