Superconductivity Gains Some Super Backing

The U.S. Department of Energy is betting that high-temperature superconductors have reached technical maturity with recently announced $51.8 million in funding for five projects involving superconducting cables and fault current limiters. Funding for the "Modern Grid Initiative" will be matched by participating research-team members, making the projects' total cost $103.6 million.

07/24/2007


The U.S. Department of Energy is betting that high-temperature superconductors have reached technical maturity with recently announced $51.8 million in funding for five projects involving superconducting cables and fault current limiters. Funding for the "Modern Grid Initiative" will be matched by participating research-team members, making the projects' total cost $103.6 million.

One of the projects will use a 13.8-kV cable to connect two existing substations near New Orleans, helping to solve a real-world electrical-load problem in the area. The second cable project will demonstrate second-generation technology in an application within the Long Island Power Authority grid.

Fault current limiter efforts include the development and in-grid testing of a three-phase high-voltage 115 kV model using second-generation wire at a Southern California Edison site. That utility also will be involved in a project to design, test and demonstrate a 138-kV saturable reactor-type fault current limiter. And American Electric Power is backing a program to design, test and demonstrate a matrix-based 138 kV unit that combines second-generation elements with conventional coils, operating in parallel.





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