Unique High-Temperature Superconducting Cable Project is Online in Albany, New York

Unique High-Temperature Superconducting Cable Project is Online in Albany, New York


Schenectady, NY - The world’s first in-grid superconducting power cable has gone online in Albany, New York, on July 20, 2006. The 350-meter underground cable—a demonstration of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) applications to improve electric power transmission and distribution—is operating at 34,500 volts, with a nominal current carrying capacity of 800 amperes. The cable—developed under the direction of SuperPower with partners Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, and BOC of Murray Hill, New Jersey—links the Riverside and Menands substations of the North Albany Service Center at National Grid.

The system at the Albany cable project currently uses first-generation HTS wire, but in a later phase, scheduled in about a year, a portion of the system will be replaced with cable using second-generation conductor to further demonstrate its viability. The second-generation HTS conductor, developed by SuperPower, is considered more cost-efficient and commercially viable than first-generation HTS.

“Use of HTS technology in electric power transmission and distribution has the potential for enormous impact on consumers and the utility industry,” said Philip J. Pellegrino, president of SuperPower. “Congestion on our electrical highways has become a major problem. Not only does inefficiency in the current system cost consumers billions of dollars a year, it also threatens the overall reliability of our power delivery network. HTS cable technology enables transmission and distribution of power through much smaller cables than comparably rated conventional copper conduits—plus HTS technology is safer and more environmentally friendly. All of this is especially important in congested urban areas.”

The cable system uses first-generation BSCCO-based HTS wire and will be in operation for about a year. At the same time the team will work on the project’s second phase, consisting of a 30-meter section of cable using more than six miles of SuperPower’s second-generation YBCO-based HTS wire, which is expected to be substantially less expensive to manufacture. That will replace a segment in the existing cable, which is expected to further improve the performance of the cable, ultimately reduce the cost of the system and improve prospects for commercialization.

SuperPower Inc. (www.superpower-inc.com), a subsidiary of Intermagnetics General Corporation (NASDAQ: IMGC), uses core capabilities in materials, cryogenics and magnetics to develop state-of-the-art second-generation high-temperature superconducting wire and electric power components for underground transmission and distribution cables, transformers, motors, generators and fault current limiters.

Traute F. Lehner
SuperPower, Inc.
Communications/Govt. Relations Specialist
(518) 346-1414 ext. 3070

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