News

May 03, 2007

Shipment Of Completed 30-Meter HTS Cable For Installation Into The Albany HTS Cable Project Announced

By: by Traute Lehner, Communications/Government Relations Specialist, SuperPower

Source:

May 2, 2007 - Schenectady, NY - SuperPower, Inc. has announced that the completed 30 meter second-generation high temperature superconducting (2G HTS) cable has been shipped from the Sumitomo Electric Industries Osaka Works in Japan and is enroute to Albany, New York.  The cable was fabricated by Sumitomo, SuperPower's partner in the Albany HTS Cable Project, from nearly ten kilometers of 2G HTS wire that was delivered by SuperPower to Sumitomo in December 2006, and will be installed into the cable system at National Grid's North Albany Service Center later this year.  This will be the world's first use of 2G HTS wire in any device and the first installation on a live grid.

Philip J. Pellegrino, president of SuperPower, said "The fabrication and delivery of high quality 2G HTS wire to Sumitomo in December has marked SuperPower's entry into the commercial manufacture of this superior superconducting wire.  We continue to lead the world in the production of long lengths of high performance wire and look forward to a successful demonstration of its capabilities during the next few months.  HTS cables, which can carry about five times the electrical current of the copper cables currently in use on our grid, will offer significant advantages as our nation addresses the need to improve and upgrade our electrical transmission network.  The expectation that 2G HTS wire will be a cost-effective replacement for copper by the end of the decade will be an important factor in determining the adoption rate."

Ryosuke Hata, Managing Executive Officer and Deputy General Manager of Sumitomo Electric Industries in Osaka, Japan, said "Sumitomo is pleased to report the successful fabrication and testing of this new 2G HTS cable, another milestone achievement for the Albany HTS Cable Project.  This demonstration is an important step forward in bringing the efficiency benefits of HTS technology to energy users around the world."

In July 2006 the 350 meter underground power cable, consisting of two sections that are joined in an underground vault, was energized.  Since that time the 34.5 kV system has accumulated nearly 7000 hours of run time with routine maintenance work performed on the related cooling systems without interruption to cable operations.  In November 2006, the cable successfully withstood a fault current event which is not uncommon to grid operations, further demonstrating the durability and reliability of the system.

"Responsibly meeting the energy needs of the future relies on our actions today.  National Grid is proud to be a part of this project as it continues to demonstrate the promising potential of this new technology," William Flaherty, vice president for business services for National Grid's eastern division said.

In addition to providing the 2G HTS wire, SuperPower is managing the project that began in 2002.  Sumitomo is the cable system designer and manufacturer, and BOC Gases, the US affiliate of the Linde Group, is responsible for the design, engineering, installation and monitoring of the cryogenic refrigeration system that keeps the cable running at 77 Kelvin. 

"BOC is proud to observe this important milestone as we work with our partners to develop solutions to meet the world's ever-increasing demand for power," said Edward Garcia, vice president, ventures, BOC.

The $27 million project is being funded by nearly $14 million from the U. S. Department of Energy, $6 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), with the remaining cost being shared by the partners. 

The project has two distinct phases.  Phase I, which has been completed, consisted of the initial installation of two cable sections, 320 meters and 30 meters, both fabricated with first-generation (1G) HTS wire.  In Phase II, the 30 meter section will be removed and replaced with the 30 meter section of 2G HTS cable now enroute to Albany.  The cable will be taken off line during the first week in May, followed by warm-up to ambient temperature (cable normally operates at  -320o F).  The installation of the new 2G HTS cable will begin in July following the removal of the original 1G cable section.  After a series of related construction activities are completed, the entire system will be cooled down again, tested and then re-energized in October 2007.

SuperPower, Inc. is a subsidiary of Philips Holdings USA, the US holding company for Royal Philips Electronics NV, following Philips' November 2006 acquisition of Intermagnetics General Corporation.  SuperPower was formed in March 2000 by Intermagnetics to provide a strong focus for the development and commercialization of HTS technology for the energy technology sector.