Demonstration of superconducting systems and elpipes

1000000 €

The Superconducting Transmission Lines (SCTL) main advantages are higher transmission efficiency and ability to use lower operating voltages while still preserving the total capacity. Potential applications for transport of high amounts of energy or in European congested grid context is then key for the development of the grid and to increase its efficiency.

Elpipes are polymer-insulated underground HVDC conductors based on low cost extruded metal conductors. The technology could potentially be used to transfer massive capacities in identified corridors. An elpipe installed at the surface could go to at least 30 GW with passive cooling. Actively (but non-cryogenically) cooled elpipe designs can theoretically go to transfer capacities above 200 GW.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • New SCTL technologies to upgrade and expand the electric grid to meet the requirements imposed by the increasing penetration of renewables.
  • Use of different superconductor technologies (e.g. HTS, MgB2) with different cooling medium, power rating and lengths.
  • Increased power transfer capability within existing right of ways.
  • Test and validate the transmission of bulk power not achievable with current cable technologies.

The activities will concur to demonstrate the reliability of the technology and its applicability in the grid network.

  • Demonstration of up to ±100kV, up to 1 GW power, superconducting system (HTS) up to 5 km onshore.
  • Demonstration of ±100 kV, up to 1 GW power, superconducting system up to 100 km, offshore.
  • Demonstration of a SCTL based on MgB2 LH2 cooled, for DC with a length up to 1 km and above, onshore. The voltage level and the cable section should be designed to have the maximum benefits in terms of insulation requirements and conductor section for a capacity transfer of 10 kA and above.
  • Cable design and simulation of kA range faults, power reversal response, loss calculation and demonstration for protections of SCTL.
  • Technical-economic benefits of the SCTL demonstrated compared with traditional (overhead lines, XLPE cable).
  • Investigate the feasibility and applicability of elpipes with technical economic analysis, use cases, etc. for high transfer rates in identified corridors.

The selected projects are expected to contribute to relevant BRIDGE[1] activities.

Specific Topic Conditions:

Activities are expected to bring long distance DC Superconductors to TRL 8 in Europe by the end of the project – see General Annex B.