02/09/2010

New high-voltage DC superconducting cable system

On the 16th, LS Cable announced that it had started the ‘development of core element technology for the HVDC superconducting cable’, a national policy task organized by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.

LS Cable will be in charge of developing the design and manufacturing technologies for the DC HTS cable (±80kV to ±200kV level), termination, and joint box, and of evaluating the performance of all insulating materials used in the system.

KEPCO will determine which power transmission lines in Korea the system can be applied to, as well as the analysis to reduce the impact of Harmonics (refer to terminology below) flown in through power converter and power loss caused by harmonics. The DC HTS cable system, which will be developed by this program, has targets to the first deployment plan at the ±80kV DC Jeju smart grid demonstration site in Korea and the Tres-Amigas Project, longer than several miles, in the US.

President Mr. Son Jong-ho of LS Cable said, “The HVDC superconducting cable system offers transmission performance superior to that of the AC system. Interest in this technology has been building up in the U.S. and Europe, where new power network implementation is urgently needed.” President Son explained, “We will actively promote entry into these markets once we have completed the development of the HVDC superconducting cable system.”

Using a superconductor with electric resistance of 0, this superconducting cable is often referred to as the ‘power line of dreams’ and is capable of large-scale power transmission and distribution. The advantage of this system is that it enables large power use at low voltage. Accordingly, the superconducting cable could replace high-voltage transmission and distribution power cable in an already overcrowded market. In addition, this is an essential technology for the smart grid. The HVDC superconducting cable system produces a transmission capacity ten times greater than that of conventional cable systems and 2.5 times or more than that of the AC superconducting cable system. For reference, the rate of power loss in Korea is 4 ~ 5% per annum, which translates into approximately KRW 1,200 billion in terms of costs.

In 2005, LS Cable’s superconducting cable passed the long-term substantive test as the first in Korea and as the third in the global market, following the U.S. and Japan. . In addition, in April this year, LS Cable succeeded in developing a global-standard 154kV level superconducting transmission cable termination (connector with the existing power network), and the type test for the 154kV superconducting AC cable system is currently being carried out. In March, LS Cable concluded an agreement with American Superconductor Corporation for the commercialization of a high-temperature superconducting cable with a length of 50km or more over the next five years

The milestone for the next decade of R&D on the HTS cable system is now updating especially focusing on the development of commercial scale, and a more convenient and reliable cryo-cooling system. The fundamental materials research program will be planned.

Source: LS Cable