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European study on applications of high temperature superconducting materials with particular reference to cables


To carry out a pre-competitive study into technical economic and environmental aspects of the commercialization of high temperature superconductivity (HTSC).

The project consists of a framework of inter-related technical economic studies and experimental work which form a basis on which to assess potential economic and environmental benefits of a given set of technical advances in HTSCs. The tasks of this project include:

A technical economic study of high voltage cable designs for AC and for DC transmission in the 1 to 3 GVA range, including installation, jointing, termination and cost comparisons with state-of-the-art conventional cables. Temperature ranges from 80 K up to room temperature will be considered (BICC, Pirelli).

The same study will be carried out for low-power cables of 1 to 100 MVA, assuming only hypothetical HTSCs operating at room temperature (BICC, Pirelli). A technical economic study of the prospects for HTSC in other power applications, such as generators, will also be carried out. Significant expertise on power generation exists between the partners of the consortium and this task will be lead by GEC who will draw as required from the other partners.

In addition to the technical economic studies above, fabrication costs will be estimated for HTSCs in the form of wire and cable conductors (ABB, Siemens). This task will estimate the HTSC cost index for various materials, their fabrication route combinations and current density/material thickness combinations. The starting point will be the new materials and production routes chosen in a parallel project (funded in the BRITE-EURAM Programme) and updated as the materials activity progresses. The programme will also include experimental work to measure important characteristics of HTSC samples (ABB, BICC, Cables de Lyon, Siemens, Pirelli). The emphasis here is on characteristics which are of importance to cables; important characteristics such as DC and AC critical current and critical temperature and AC losses, together with their variation under environmental conditions required in cables (e.g. temperature, stress) will be measured. In addition to this, AC losses in relevant dielectrics will also be measu ed, particularly at temperatures between liquid nitrogen and ambient temperature.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Bicc Plc
Quantum House, Maylands Avenue
HP2 4SJ Hemel Hempstead
United Kingdom

Participants (5)

Asea Brown Boveri AG
Eppelheimer Straße 82
69123 Heidelberg
Cables de Lyon

69000 Lyon
GEC Alsthom Ltd
United Kingdom
Lichfield Road
ST17 4LN Stafford
Pirelli Coordinamento Pneumatici SpA
Viale Sarca 222
20126 Milano
Wittelsbacherplatz 2