As part of the AmpaCity Project, KIT, Nexans and RWE Deutschland have together developed a superconductor cable measuring a length of 1 km, making it the world’s longest superconductor cable. This cable will replace the existing high-voltage cable, which connects two transformers in Ruhr city of Essen.
As part of the installation, the concentric 10 kV cable, which will have a capacity of 40 MW will be provided by Nexans. The cable will be accompanied with resistive superconducting fault current limiter which will also be provided by Nexans unit located in Germany, which specialises in superconductors. The appropriate insulating and superconducting materials will be provided by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology after a detailed study. The institute carried out a detailed analysis along with project partners Nexans and RWE to study the economic efficiency, technical feasibility of a superconductor at medium voltage levels. The study also revealed that superconducting cables are a better solution to high voltage cables in terms of land and resources used. Although medium voltage cables could also be used in city networks, the ohmic drop is higher in such cases and they take up more routing space.
Though superconductor cables have been ready for use in the energy industry, they have not been used on a large scale. However, now due to advanced production techniques, superconductor cables are available in bigger lengths and quantities. The removal of various 110/10 kV transformers for the installation of this superconductor cable will allow more free space and offer lower maintenance and operating costs in the long run.
The project is being supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology’s energy research department.