Nexans's medium voltage sFCL installation uses AMSC's Amperium wire

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13 April 2016, Electricity

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The Birmingham project is Nexans' third UK order for superconducting fault current limiters and the largest to date. The contract includes design, fabrication, and permanent installation of the innovative devices, including associated switchgear in the distribution grid operated by Western Power Distribution.

AMSC and Nexans have collaborated to offer the sFCL system to the North American market and continue to work closely on the sFCL product, and on other superconductor product applications, such as AMSC's Resilient Electric Grid (REG) solutions.

Nexans delivered the first sFCL from this order to the Chester Street substation in late 2015, and the second to Bournville substation. Both sFCLs use AMSC's Amperium wire and are now permanently integrated into the grid. The technology opens up new ways of designing distribution grids, such as with coupling busbars to maintain a reliable power supply during maintenance.

Installation of the pioneering technology in Birmingham's network is part of the FlexDGrid project, which aims to future proof existing networks to accept more electricity generated from sustainable resources. The new equipment helps achieve this objective by enabling higher power feed-in from distributed or renewable electricity sources. In many places this is expected to remove the need for network expansion with new substations. The FlexDGrid project is financed by GBP 17 million from the Low Carbon Networks Fund, a national initiative for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The superconducting fault current limiters, which have already proved their reliability in several distribution networks and power station auxiliary supply systems, provide particularly effective protection against fault currents for downstream components in the network. They are inherently safe and highly effective, and their operating costs are low.

Source: MarketLine

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