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 Superconductivity Technology Center - power applications

Power Applications

The goal of the power applications effort is to accelerate development using HTS wire formed into coils and cables for a new generation of power equipment in the next decade. At Los Alamos this has evolved into the three efforts briefly described here.

AC losses research is focused on improved techniques for measuring and modeling AC losses. This work focuses on the losses in coated conductor, or 2nd generation, HTS tapes and wires. We first develop techniques to determine the AC losses in single isolated conductors and then extend the measurement techniques to determine the values for HTS wires in prototype cable and Fault Current Limiter coil configurations.  The AC loss finite element modeling (FEM) simulation effort parallels and is validated by the experimental effort and is then used to aid designs by estimating the losses in wire configurations that have not yet been physically realized. The results of this research have been applied by LANL staff in the applied projects listed below.

We have been evaluating the AC losses, overall performance, and other aspects of several HTS Power Cable projects.  One is the first Long Island Power Authority project (LIPA 1), which has been running since April 2008. This system was developed by a consortium led by American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC). We are also involved in another AMSC-led HTS Power Cable project (Hydra) for Manhattan Island (New York City).

Power grid instabilities due to increasing demand and aging infrastructure is a major problem for the national electrical system. Transmission line capacity has not kept pace with the increase in generator capacity and loads, with the result that transmission lines are subject to larger currents under fault conditions, stressing many components on the electric grid. Thus superconducting Fault Current Limiters (FCLs), novel devices with the ability to protect the grid during fault conditions, have wide applicability for improving stability and quality of the entire electrical system.  We are working with several companies to develop this technology. Our work on the AMSC FCL is centered on determining the AC losses of the switching coils of this resistive-type fault current limiter. We are also working on the Zenergy Power Inc. FCL, of a saturable core design, both modeling the device and assisting with power testing.


Contact: Stephen P. Ashworth, ashworth@lanl.gov

 Superconductivity Technology Center




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