Superconductors: a future solution for megacities


HTS cables can carry three to five times more power than conventional copper cables of similar sizes.

Thermally-independent, compact HTS cables can be installed into existing rights-of-way, helping to reduce the cost and environmental impact of future grid upgrades.

With lower impedance than conventional technology, superconductor cables can be placed strategically in the power grid to draw flow away from overtaxed cables or overhead lines, reducing network congestion while providing an environmentally friendly solution.

Since April 2008, 300,000 households in Long Island (New York) have been powered by a superconductor cable developed and manufactured by Nexans, the world’s longest and highest-voltage superconductor power transmission cable. The 600-metre, 138 kV, 574 MVA power link, comprising three high temperature superconductor (HTS) cable phases running in parallel, is the world’s first superconductor cable system installed in a live grid operating at transmission voltage.

More recently, Nexans produced a 1-kilometre-long high-voltage cable for the “AmpaCity” project connecting two transformer stations in the city of Essen (Germany) with a state-of-the-art superconductor solution. This will mark the longest superconductor cable installation in the world.