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Superconductor devices do not simply provide incremental improvements over conventional technologies; they provide unique solutions to challenges that cannot be achieved otherwise. Examples of electric power applications that provide these unique solutions include superconducting fault current limiters (SFCLs), generators for off‐shore wind turbines, and high capacity power cables.

One type of HTS cable carries the same amount of power as 27 conventional cables. Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The graphic below shows qualitatively the relative position of HTS based devices compared to the most advanced conventional technology that exists on the electric grid. HTS based cables, fault current limiters, generators and transformers are analyzed against a number of key success factors. The elongated shapes represent a varied response regarding the relative position. For instance, some data collected shows that operating costs for SFCLs were worse than conventional technologies while other data shows significantly better costs depending on the application.


Example of HTS benefits include:

  • HTS is the most efficient electricity carrier, reducing energy losses and carbon emissions
  • HTS based devices such as cables, fault current limiters (FCLs), transformers and energy storage devices are intrinsically smart, can limit overcurrents, and provide grid resilience
  • HTS cables can provide up to 10 times higher capacity than conventional cables and carry transmission power at distribution voltages
  • HTS cables have reduced right-of-way requirements and can be readily permitted in dense urban areas
  • HTS FCLs improve system reliability when renewables and distributed generation are added to the grid
Copyright 2018 by the HTS TCP