Transport, heating and industry will all need to be electrified in the coming years if net zero goals are to be achieved. Cities will see the biggest increase in electricity demand, so finding ways to boost urban power supplies is a priority. Superconducting cables make it possible to transmit massive amounts of electricity in a very small space, making them the perfect candidate for congested urban grids. Our market-proven superconducting cables are transforming urban power. These compact cables allow grid operators to transfer more power at medium voltage, while reducing land take, cutting the amount of capital equipment and eliminating heating and electric and magnetic fields (EMF).
Transmission capacity of a single HTS cable
Voltage level for HVDC cables
Experience in cryostat design
Superconductivity is the loss of electrical resistance which takes place in some materials when they are cooled to an extremely low temperature. This phenomenon – discovered in 1911 – has major implications for the way electricity is transmitted and distributed. By incorporating superconducting wires or tapes into cables, it is possible to create near-perfect electrical conductors.
Superconducting cables for electricity transmission are manufactured using materials known as High Temperature Superconductors (HTS). The word "high" in this context is relative to absolute zero. Despite their name, High Temperature Superconductors need to be kept extremely cold (minus 200 degrees centigrade). Cooling is achieved using a cryogenic envelope - a thermally-insulated jacket that surrounds the cable. The coolant used is liquid nitrogen. This is relatively inexpensive, easy to manage and harmless to the environment.
Interview with Jacques Lewiner (physicist and inventor) on superconductivity
How can Nexans solutions help ?
Nexans is the global leader in the design and manufacture of both superconducting cable systems and superconducting fault current limiters (SFCLs). We provide end-to-end superconducting solutions, from initial concept to deployment and commissioning. And we back this up with expert services and support.
- Unique capabilities - our resources include a complete portfolio of technological assets, industrial tools and expertise. High temperature superconductor (HTS) cable R&D, engineering, manufacturing and testing are carried out in Hanover in Germany with the support of our plants in France and Norway for some operations. HTS cable accessories and terminations are developed in Calais in France.
- Technological leadership - Nexans is the world leader in the field of flexible cryogenic envelope technology - a vital asset for superconducting cable systems. This builds on our decades.long experience in the design and manufacture of insulated flexible lines for the transport of cryogenic fluids.
- Superconducting standards - Nexans is playing a key role in the development of new standards through its membership of TC 90, the committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) dedicated to the preparation of international standards relating to superconducting materials and devices. Nexans currently chairs the TC 90 committee.
Our unique capabilities in R&D, innovation, testing, manufacturing and deployment mean that we are perfectly placed to assist our customers as they prepare to take advantage of the opportunities offered by superconducting systems.
The future is electric. From transport to heating, almost everything that currently depends on fossil fuels will need to switch to electricity if zero carbon goals are to be achieved.
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