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The competitive potential of high-temperature superconductors for power transmission

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128069D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-14
Document File: 6 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Campbell, Andrew Z: AUTHOR [+3]

Related Documents

http://theses.mit.edu:80/Dienst/UI/2.0/Describe/0018.mit.theses/1999-64: URL

Abstract

High temperature superconductors were discovered in 1987. Worldwide, many groups are presently engaged in the research and development of these materials for power transmission cable applications. This thesis examines the competitive potential, on a cost-performance basis, of high-temperature superconductors as compared to conventional transmission lines. Toward this end, a broad survey of the literature on high-temperature superconducting (HTS) cables and tapes was performed. An analysis of the critical interdependencies between HTS technology and their costcompetitiveness for power transmission are presented. This thesis makes clear that there are technical characteristics unique to HTS which place them at a significant economic handicap for alternating-current power transmission as compared to directcurrent power transmission. HTS tape is the integral component of a HTS cable. In turn, silver metal is an integral component of HTS tapes and there is little technological scope for reducing the amount of silver required for HTS tape. While the cost of silver was found to be a minority fraction of the total cost of HTS tape, this cost alone, on a cost performance basis, would approach the entire final installation cost of a standard overhead direct-current transmission line for a 1 km length. However, because the properties of HTS tape continuously deteriorate with distance, their competitiveness would also progressively deteriorate for longer transmission distance. The reduction of transmission losses is not a compelling source of competitive advantage for HTS cable. A HTS direct-current cable would not eliminate all transmission losses and there is considerable technical debate over whether such a cable would have any loss-savings advantage over a standard direct-current transmission line. However, were a completely loss-free transmission line possible, it would merit a premium, under the most optimistic scenario, of approximately 76% over the final installation cost of a standard direct-current overhead transmission line, and about 7.6% more than the cost of an equivalent underground direct-current cable. Thesis Supervisor: Robert M. Rose Title: Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Thesis Supervisor: Bruce P. Strauss Title: Visiting Scientist, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

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THE COMPETITIVE POTENTIAL OF HIGH-TEMPERATURE SUPERCONDUCTORS FOR POWER TRANSMISSION

by

ANDREW Z. CAMPBELL
BSc. Materials Engineering Queen's University,.....1993
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Technology and Policy

at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

February 1999
SIGNATURE OF author: [[signature omitted]]

Department of ]Materials Science and Engineering

January 15, 1999
CERTIFIED BY: [[SIGNATURE OMITTED]]

Dr. Robert M. Rose

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Thesis Supervisor Dr. Bruce P. Strauss
Visiting Scientist Department of Materials Science and Engineering Thesis Supervisor ACCEPTED BY: [[SIGNATURE OMITTED]]

Dr. Linn W. Hobbs John F. Elliot Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Chairman, Departmental Committee on Graduate Students Department of Materials Science and Engineering Professor Richard de Neufville

Chairman, technology and Policy Program

ARCHIVES MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY LIBRARIES Mar 25 1999

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Page 1 Dec 31, 1999

Page 2 of 6

The competitive potential of high-temperature superconductors for power transmission

THE COMPETITIVE POTENTIAL OF HIGH-TEMPERATURE SUPERCONDUCTORS FOR POWER TRANSMISSION

by

ANDREW Z. CAMPBELL

Submitted to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering On January 15, 1999 In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degrees of

Master of Science in Materials Science and Master of Science in Technology and Policy

ABSTRACT

High temperature superconductors were discovered in 1987. Worldwide, many groups are presently engaged in the research and development of these materials for power transmission cable applications. This thesis examines the competitive potential, on a cost-performance basis, of high-temperature superconductors as compared to conventional transmission lines. Toward this end, a broad survey of the literature on high-temperature superconducting (HTS) cables and tapes was performed. An analysis of the critical interdependencies between HTS technology and their costcompetitiveness for power transmission are presented.

This thesis makes clear that there are technical characteristics unique to HTS which place them at a significant economic handicap for alternating-current power transmission as compared to directcurrent power transmission.

HTS tape is the integral component of a HTS cable. In turn, silver metal is an integral component of HTS tapes and there is little technological scope for reducing the amount of silver required for HTS tape. While the cost of silver was found to be a minority fraction of the total cost of HTS tape, this cost alone, on a cost performance basis, woul...