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Superconducting high-voltage


Technology Description

Superconducting high-voltage allows transfer of large amounts of power (GW level, at currents of 5-10 kA and voltages up to 350 kV) over short distances from a few hundred meters up to few kilometres with minimal line losses compared to traditional resistive counterparts. Superconducting high-voltage wires today can conduct more than 150 times the power of copper or aluminium wires of the same dimensions.
Materials currently known to conduct at ordinary pressures become superconducting at temperatures far below ambient, and therefore require cooling. Metallic superconductors usually work below −200 °C. So called high-temperature superconductors (HTS) usually work at temperatures above 77 Kelvin (-196.2°C), the boiling point of liquid nitrogen.

Relevance for Net Zero

Superconducting cables have a smaller diameter and can operate at lower voltages compared to conventional copper cables, resulting in a smaller land footprint for the cables and transformer stations. Superconducting cables are therefore very well suited for dense areas such as city centres.

Key Countries

Europe, Russia, Korea, United States

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