British Superconductor

German technology revolutionises the electricity grid: the nationwide collapse of electricity networks by overloading superconducting current limiters can counteract with clever technology against blackouts. The innovative technology is now ready for the market; This winter the Nexans SuperConductors GmbH (NSC), Hurth, delivered the world’s first commercial device of its kind in the British company applied superconductor limited (ASL), Blyth. ASL embeds it in the English County Lancashire in a 11-kV switching station to protect the medium voltage grid from overloading. That superconductor current limiter have the potential to revolutionize power grids, is due to their functional principle: let your superconductor elements when cooled to about 200 C current virtually unopposed. The current in the superconductor however exceeds the design values, such as a short circuit, a poorly conductive ceramic is the ideal head and automatically and in a few thousandths of a second. This prevents damage to the network. Instead but the flow as a backup to separate, It reduces the current limiter to a tolerable level. The disorder can be to easily find and correct; She is eliminated, the current limiter enters the normal operation quickly again by itself.

The principle has already proven itself in the field test. The recently delivered superconductive current limiter, which was built on a commercial basis and receives no funding for the NSC, was almost completely in Hurth: development and production of superconductor materials and the limiter components as well as design, construction and installation of the complete system were carried out at NSC. Prior to delivery, the device at the Institute has been tested with success test for electric high-performance engineering in Berlin with a series of short circuits. The threshold of the marketing has been overcome”, Dr. Joachim Bock, CEO of NPC is pleased. More current limiter for the medium voltage with different electrical standards are already in production.” Adaptation to customer requirements is no problem thanks to the modular design; the devices can be used in different networks.

The technology helps to prevent the dreaded blackouts. It is crucial Smart grids in the increasingly stitches of the networks even when the supply of renewable electricity or in the future. Superconducting current limiters are applicable also in the power factory supply.”after the commissioning of the first superconducting cable into a high-voltage network in 2008 is the application of superconducting current limiter” another important step in the direction of energy supply of the future, commented Dr. Francis Krahenbuhl, Chief Executive Officer of Nexans Germany. Superconducting cable and resources have the potential to make safer and more resilient networks. “And what is particularly encouraging: through your use of the losses in the network can be reduced at the same time thus CO2 emissions.

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