Friday, June 2, 2017

American Superconductor’s Innovative Power-Transmission Cable System


In past leadership capacities with American Superconductor, Angelo Santamaria helped guide a Massachusetts-headquartered developer and licensor of wind turbine designs. Angelo Santamaria also engaged with American Superconductor in a pioneering commercial superconductor wire technology platform. 

Launched by the company in 2008, the power-transmission cable system is able to operate at high temperatures and deliver approximately 150 times the electricity that copper wires of similar size are capable of. The Department of Energy-funded project was integrated within the grid of the Long Island Power Authority and encompassed three cables with a total power of 138 kilovolts. When running at full capacity, it meets the power needs of 300,000 households. 

At the time, the system represented a technology breakthrough at a significant cost associated with silver-coated wires. The underground system operated on newly developed high-temperature superconductor cables, which are kept at extremely low temperatures of between –200 C and –210 C. This is accomplished by running liquid nitrogen through the cable. Following successful deployment, the next challenge was described as perfecting copper, which costs 80 percent less than silver, as a coating material.

American Superconductor’s Innovative Power-Transmission Cable System

In past leadership capacities with American Superconductor, Angelo Santamaria helped guide a Massachusetts-headquartered developer and li...