A small footprint, more capacity and no losses - these are the main advantages of superconducting links for electricity transmission compared to conventional solutions. But how far is this new technology from deployment? Experts from the energy sector discussed the hurdles and chances at the final conference of the EU project Best Paths in Brussels.
To transport electricity effectively, a superconductor has to be inside an extremely well-insulated tube with an interior temperature of -200°C. Researchers at the IASS, the ESPCI engineering college in Paris, and French cable manufacturer Nexans have now developed a novel form of insulation that is compatible with the low temperatures and the high operating voltage of 320 kilovolts.