SuperPower HTS Cable Project Ranked No. 1 at 2005 US DOE Peer Review

SuperPower HTS Cable Project Ranked No. 1 at 2005 US DOE Peer Review
10/18/2005

 

Intermagnetics' SuperPower Subsidiary Receives First Place Ranking at 2005 DOE Peer Review Among SPI Device Programs for High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) Cable Project 

  • Program is Ranked First in a Field of Nine DOE-SPI Related Projects
  • Team of SuperPower, Sumitomo, BOC and National Grid is Called Well-Coordinated
  • On-Schedule Project Considered Excellent and Well-Managed

Schenectady, NY- Intermagnetics General Corporation’s (NASDAQ: IMGC) Energy Technology subsidiary, SuperPower, Inc., with its partners Sumitomo Electric Industries of Osaka, Japan, The BOC Group (NYSE: BOX) of Murray Hill, New Jersey, and National Grid (NYSE:NGG; LSE:NG) of Westborough, MA, announced today that the Albany HTS Cable Project was ranked No. 1 at the 2005 Annual Peer Review of U.S. Department of Energy sponsored projects in the Superconductivity Partnerships with Industry (SPI) program. The report cited that “this project is progressing well at all levels: cables, cryogenics, dielectrics and utility operations.”

Glenn H. Epstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Intermagnetics General Corporation said, “This impressive result underscores the importance of taking the time to put together the right team to appropriately plan, manage, and finance the project. The Review Panel’s commendation of the project’s risk management strategy and responsiveness to recommendations by the DOE Readiness Review Team … highlight the determination of this team to successfully carry out this important demonstration project.”

Ryosuke Hata, managing executive officer and deputy general manager, R&D at Sumitomo Electric Industries said, “Sumitomo is determined to continue this project with the same dedication to success that the team has shown thus far. We believe that our previous experience with HTS cable projects bodes well for the successful conclusion of this, our first such project in the United States. We are proud to be a member of this high-performance team.” The Review Panel specifically noted that “The use of the Sumitomo 3-in-One cable is an elegant and compact solution.”

Edward L. Garcia, vice president PGS Ventures, BOC added, “BOC successfully completed the installation and preliminary testing of the cryogenic refrigeration system (CRS) in August and is now looking forward to integrating the CRS with the cable system and demonstrating the remote monitoring capability.”

The project is currently in the installation stage of two segments – 320-meters and 30-meters - of first-generation (1G) HTS cable at the North Albany Service Center of National Grid. The joining of these two segments in an underground vault is expected to be a world’s first demonstration of a cable-to-cable joint. On completion of installation, configuration and system testing, phase one of the cable is expected to be commissioned early in calendar 2006. The Review Panel noted “all essential preliminary activities to be performed … have been successfully completed (site infrastructure, cryogenic system, BSCCO cable sections and terminations.)”

“While this project is thus far moving forward according to plan, SuperPower continues to work in parallel on the scale-up of its second generation (2G) HTS wire toward delivery of nearly 6 miles of wire to Sumitomo for fabrication into the world’s first 2G HTS cable system to be installed in phase two of this project, which is expected to be completed in 2007. Success of that phase should help to ensure a place for superconductivity in the utility grid,” noted Philip J. Pellegrino, president of SuperPower.

Michael R. Hynes, vice president, business services of National Grid, the utility hosting the Albany HTS Cable Project, commented, “This type of demonstration project is important to utilities as we evaluate this new technology for possible integration into the nation’s electric power grid. Demonstration of greater efficiency, system reliability, and ultimate cost-effectiveness will go a long way toward convincing our industry that this is a technology worthy of adoption. National Grid is pleased to be a part of this project.”

The $26M Albany HTS Cable project is receiving $13M in funding from the U. S. Department of Energy’s SPI program. The project was initially awarded a $6M grant from The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in 2001. The remaining project cost is being covered by the project partners.

Peter R. Smith, president of NYSERDA said, “NYSERDA is proud to be helping SuperPower with the development of this cable project. Its recognition by the DOE Peer Review panel indicates that this cable will play an increasingly important role in the safe and secure delivery of electricity to New Yorkers.”

SuperPower is responsible for overall project management, site infrastructure, and will supply the 2G HTS wire for phase two of the project, in which a 30-meter section of 1G cable will be removed and replaced with an identical length of 2G HTS cable. Sumitomo Electric Industries is responsible for the manufacture and installation of the entire HTS cable, and the BOC Group is responsible for the CRS and remote operating system.

Panel Reviewers further noted that “the fact that all design tests were done in accordance with ASME, IEEE, AEIC standards is good news. This means that the product may be applicable in the U.S. without any doubt.”

Intermagnetics (www.intermagnetics.com) draws on the financial strength, operational excellence and technical leadership in the market of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), as well as its expanding businesses within Medical Devices that encompass Invivo Diagnostic Imaging (focusing on MRI components & imaging sub-systems) and Invivo Patient Care (focusing on monitoring & other patient care devices). Intermagnetics is also a prominent participant in superconducting applications for Energy Technology. The company has a more than 30-year history as a successful developer, manufacturer and marketer of superconducting materials, high-field magnets, medical systems & components and other specialized high-value added devices.

SuperPower, Inc. (www.superpower-inc.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intermagnetics General Corporation, uses core capabilities in materials, cryogenics and magnetics to develop state-of-the-art second-generation HTS wire and electric power components such as underground transmission and distribution cables, transformers and fault current limiters.

Sumitomo Electric Industries (www.sumitomo.com), a major international developer and manufacturer of electric power cables, electronics, telecommunications and automotive equipment, with more than 40 years’ experience in superconductivity research and development, will fabricate the 350-meter, 34.5 kV, 800-ampere cable. The cable will be installed underground on the Niagara Mohawk distribution system with a joint, or “splice,” 30 meters from one end. Later in the project, the 30-meter section initially produced with DI-BSCCO HTS wire (Drastically Innovative BSCCO), will be replaced with an identical length using the 2G HTS wire being manufactured by SuperPower. 2G HTS wire is also expected to have the necessary price and performance characteristics to ensure the commercial reality of HTS cables.

The BOC Group (www.boc.com), the worldwide industrial gases, vacuum technologies and distribution services company, developed the cryogenic refrigeration system that will cool the superconducting cable. The cryogenic system is designed with reliability and commercial characteristics in mind and key components can be serviced during operation. A novel hybrid arrangement will provide redundant refrigeration capability in the form of bulk liquid nitrogen. Using its existing Remote Operations Center (ROC) in Bethlehem, PA, BOC will monitor the cable and cryogenic system, and provide live feeds to all the partners. The ROC can provide necessary intervention around the clock, either through remote control or by dispatching service technicians, to ensure continuous operation of the cryogenic system.

National Grid USA (www.nationalgridus.com), through the transmission and distribution of electricity and natural gas, serves close to 4 million customers across 29,000 square miles of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid plc is an international energy delivery business with principal activities in the regulated electricity and natural gas industries. The company owns the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales and operates the system across Great Britain. It also owns and operates the high-pressure gas transmission system in Britain and, through its gas distribution business, delivers gas to over 10 million homes and businesses in Britain. In addition, it has a number of businesses operating in related areas such as wireless infrastructure for broadcast and telecommunications, metering and interconnectors.

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
SuperPower Inc. is subsidiary
of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.
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