LS Cable & System announced that it had started demonstration of the world’s first superconducting DC cable. The Company had completed installation of an 80kV superconducting DC cable at its Superconducting Power System Center in Jeju Island at the end of October and on November 19th started a system demonstration that will last for six months.
This holds significance as a turning point for Korea because, despite starting development of superconducting cable technology much later than the U.S. and Germany, the country has now become an industry leader after about ten years of technology development.
The size of a superconducting cable is only 20% that of a copper cable yet transmission volume is larger by five times for AC and as much as ten times for DC transmission. Developed taking advantage of the property of ‘superconductivity’ whereby electric resistance disappears at -196°C, superconducting cable involves almost no electricity loss during transmission.
Superconducting cable is highly usable in congested urban areas where power demand is on the rise even though space underground for cables is already saturated with cable tunnels and conduits. Thus, a drastic wattage increase can be achieved by simply replacing existing cables with superconducting cables while continuing to use the existing facilities. In addition, when it becomes necessary to build a new cable tunnel, the cross-section of the tunnel can be reduced by more than 60%.
When commercialization and technology development are carried out to a greater extent, superconducting cable can be used for long-distance power transmission thus lowering power facility costs. For example, while as many as five substations are typically needed to send power from a power plant to a downtown area, using superconducting cable reduces it down to one. In addition, as long-distance power transmission is possible as there is not any power loss even when AC is not converted to DC, superconducting cable can replace HVDC (high voltage direct current) cable, and thus a power conversion station will no longer be necessary.
LS Cable & System President & CEO Ja-Eun Koo said, “Superconducting cable is no longer a ‘dream cable.’ Related projects to a scale of hundreds of billions of won are being deployed in around ten countries including the U.S. and China as well as Korea. LS Cable & System will contribute to high-efficiency and eco-friendly energy industry development by continuously promoting technology development and overseas market entry.”
Having started superconducting cable development in 2001, LS Cable & System succeeded in producing an AC cable in 2004 as the fourth in the world following Denmark, the U.S. and Japan. In 2013, the Company developed a DC superconducting cable for the first time in the world, thus becoming the only company in the world possessing both AC and DC superconducting technologies. DC products involve electricity loss only one tenth that of AC products. Therefore, these products can be used to significantly reduce facility costs, such as coolers.
At present, other than LS Cable & System, only four companies in the world possess superconducting cable technologies, including Nexans of France and Sumitomo of Japan.