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Electrical
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Electrical applications

Zero resistance, zero loss

LIPA superconducting cable(600 megawatts, 600 m, 138 kV); NexansElectricity has become an essential energy source in our modern lives. Today’s power cables can however only carry limited currents; otherwise they would heat and melt. A network of superconducting power cables would solve this problem because 1000 times more electric current can flow through them: smaller cables with more current.

Such a network is still unprofitable because cables have to be cooled to become superconducting. However, cable prototypes made of superconducting cuprates cooled with liquid nitrogen have been built on small distances.

Superconductors are also used as current limiters in power plants and work as superconducting fuses. Lastly, superconductors are used in SMES, in order to store electric energy. An electric current is stored in a closed superconducting coil. The current remains trapped forever in the coil because there is absolutely no energy loss, and this current can be recovered ad libitum in a very short amount of time, contrary to usual batteries.

CNRSSociété Française de PhysiqueTriangle de la physique
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CNRSSociété Française de PhysiqueTriangle de la physique