South Korea To Build World's Longest Superconductor Electric Distribution System
image: American Superconductor
It will only be a half mile long, but Korea Electric Power Corp has taken the first step in building what will be the world's current longest . To do so they have placed the world's largest order for high temperature superconducting wire from Massachusetts-based American Semiconductor:Some 80,000 meters (50 miles) of the wire will be made into 22.9 kV cable by LS Cable and installed near Seoul in 2010. The completed system will be able to carry 50 MW of power.
Lots of Power Transmitted in Small FootprintWhat's the green angle? American Superconductor says that power cables made with this sort of superconducting wire can carry up to 10 times the amount of power as a similarly sized cable using copper wire. Compared to the hundred-feet wide corridor required for conventional long distance power transmission, superconducting cables could be used with only a 25' wide corridor, placed inside existing road and railway rights-of-way where possible.
Korea Electric Power Corp CEO Kim Ssang-Su:
As is the case in many countries around the world, Korea has been experiencing sharp increases in electricity demand and is relying more and more on renewable energy sources to meet that demand. With the ability to carry vast amounts of power in a small pathway, we see great promise for superconductor cable technology and look forward to energizing this system first.
South Korea's electric power mix now consists of about 38% coal, 37% nuclear, 18% natural gas, 6% oil, and only about 1% renewable energy (the overwhelming majority of which is hydropower).
More: American Superconductor (press release)
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