Thursday, June 23, 2011

No. 288: World’s highest voltage superconducting cable (June 23, 2011)

The world’s highest voltage superconducting cable that can resist 275 kilovolts has been developed by Furukawa Electric. The new cable has four times higher performance than the existing cable being marketed by this company, and two times higher performance than the competitive product from Nexans of France. It allows for electric power transmission of 1,500,000 kW that is equivalent to that of a large-scale nuclear power plant or a thermal power plant. Furukawa’s existing cable has the maximum capacity of 66 kilovolts and Nexans’ existing cable 138 kilovolts. Furukawa improved the insulating paper wrapping the wire rods for higher degree of safety. Furukawa specializes in superconducting cables using wire rods containing yttrium, one of rare earthes. The company started the research on the factor technology of the new cable in 2008 as the project entrusted by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization with a research fund of about 300 million yen for three years. Furukawa will start substantiative experiments in alliance with electric power companies both at home and abroad to put it into practical use in 2020. The company projects to achieve sales of 10 billion yen per year.

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