The world's first high-temperature superconductor hydro generator is to be installed in a hydroelectric power plant in Bavaria, Germany.

Developed by Zenergy Power, the 1.25MW generator will be used at the E.ON Wasserkraft-owned plant at Hirschaid, following an extensive period of collaboration between the two companies.

The hydro generator will be based around Zenergy’s patented high-temperature superconductor materials, which will enable the production of a device capable of delivering efficiency levels of greater than 98%, according to the company. The projected cost of the overall development and installation is set to be US$4.32M, of which the European Commission will provide US$2.32M.

The superconductor generator will be built by Converteam (formerly Alstom Power Conversion), utilising superconductive coils made by the Group’s German operation Trithor. The generator is to be used as a replacement for an existing device and is expected to improve efficiency at the plant. Further technical input is being provided by Dutch company KEMA, the Silesian University of Technology and British company Vector Fields. A maintenance-free cryogenerator for the cooling of the generator will be provided by the Dutch cryogenic company, Stirling.

Once successfully tested, the superconductor generator is scheduled to power approximately 2000 households on an ongoing basis through E.ON Wasserkraft’s grid operation.