Wind turbines benefiting from superconductive materials offer higher power and lighter weight due to direct drive system without any need for a gearbox. Lower losses and higher efficiency can be obtained at fractional power output. Large wind turbines require a significant amount of superconductive wires (in the order of hundreds of kms) and their cost, availability and formability play a significant role. Epoch Wires’ low cost infinitely long MgB2 conductor is an ideal product for this emerging technology.
MRI manufacturers are seeking alternative superconductive materials that operate at temperatures above the boiling point of cryogenic liquids such as hydrogen, which is relatively inexpensive, readily available and in long lengths. The technology developed by Epoch Wires is ideally suited for this application.
The intermittency of renewable energy generation together with the growing demand and complexity of power grids pose substantial threats to the grid’s resilience and availability. Superconductive magnetic energy storage (SMES) systems based on a relatively cost effective material, Magnesium Diboride, could ensure quick responsiveness of the system to erratic fluctuations in the power supply grid. MgB2 based SMES then ultimately contribute to the reliability, efficiency, safety and reduced environmental impact of energy networks.
The energy loss in a conventional copper cable is around 8% due to ohmic resistance. However, for a DC superconductive cable, the energy loss only comes from the dielectric loss and heat flow, which is estimated to be only about 1-2%. The use of superconductive cables in relatively short distance and high energy demanding applications such as data centres could significantly simplify the layout of the installation and reduce costs.
Fault Current Limiters
It is estimated that power quality problems cost industry and commerce about 40 billion Euro per annum. It is suggested that two thirds of this cost is due to momentary interruptions which may be short and frequently resulting from poor power quality. In industrial applications even a dip in the power supply will cause loss of synchronisation and halt the process. These losses could be reduced dramatically with cost effective and scaleable MgB2 based fault current limiters maintaining the voltage and frequency at the required levels.
MgB2 based superconductive materials could also be used in other large scale industries such as induction heaters, magnetic separators, homopolar motors, magnetic trains, nuclear fusion reactors and particle accelerators.