February 28, 08
New Superconductive Wire Carries 5X More Power Than Copper

SuperPower, Inc. has announced the connection of the 350-meter high-temperature superconducting (HTS) cable to the National Grid power system between the Riverside and Menands substations in Albany, N.Y. Using a new 30 meter cable segment fabricated with wire manufactured in Schenectady, SuperPower marked the successful installation and energization of Phase 2 of the HTS Cable Demonstration Project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. HTS cables, which carry up to five times more power than the copper-based power cables in use today, can provide an important solution to the ever-increasing demand for more and higher quality power.

“The Department is committed to continuing to work with academia, industry and the states to advance High Temperature Superconductivity and other breakthrough technologies,” DOE Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Kevin Kolevar said. “High Temperature Superconductivity has repeatedly demonstrated that it has the potential to play a pivotal role in modernizing our electric infrastructure and ensuring the stable and affordable delivery of electricity to our homes, businesses and industry. As the nation's demand for electricity continues to grow, so too do the pressures on our electric utilities to continue to provide the reliable electric service that is so important to our economy and way of life.”

This is the first in-grid demonstration in the world of a device that incorporates 2G HTS wire, which is expected to provide important performance and price benefits compared to copper wire.

“HTS cables carry more power more efficiently,” said Tonko. “Since they occupy less space than comparably rated conventional cables, HTS cables can be retrofit into existing underground conduits, eliminating the need for additional trenching, which will be of particular benefit in highly congested urban settings, such as New York City. NYSERDA has been pleased to provide support for this very successful demonstration of an important new technology that will help to address the concerns about meeting the constantly rising demand for additional, high-quality power in New York State and around the nation and the world.”