High capacity superconducting distribution line tested

American Superconductor Corp in a collaborative effort with four Chinese research and industrial institutions has successfully demonstrated a 75 m, three phase high temperature superconductor (HTS) power cable in a live 6.6 kV distribution grid in northwest China.

The Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEE), the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), and the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry (TIPC, CAS), collaborated on the project with the Changtong Power Cable Company Ltd, which operated the cable.

Dr. Xiao, director of the CAS Applied Superconductivity Lab, said, ”the cable project is an important step in demonstrating that high capacity HTS power cables are a viable means to help meet the Chinese economy’s growing demand for electric power. The Changtong cable project will likely lead to larger demonstration projects and commercial deployment of high capacity HTS cable solutions in China.

The Changtong cable project is sponsored by IEE, and supported by Ministry of Science and Technology, CAS and Changtong Power Cable Company Ltd. The cable conductor and terminations were designed and constructed by IEE; the refrigeration system was made by TIPC; the cable insulation system was made by Baofeng Cable Group; and the joints for the cable’s cryogenic envelope were made by Shenzhen Woer Company.

The plan is to operate the cable on a continuous basis for the remainder of 2005 after which the cable system will undergo internal examination.