KEPCO test AMSC’s Cable
Devens-based AMSC said Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) is testing a cable that uses AMSC’s trademarked wire at a smart grid demonstration site on Jeju Island, a province of South Korea.
The high-temperature superconductor cable uses AMSC’s Amperium HTS wire. According to AMSC, such cables are “power dense and have zero resistance, making them an ideal solution to moving large amounts of power underground and with a minimal footprint.” They’re also capable of conducting 150 times the amount of electricity that can be conducted by copper or aluminum devices of the same size, according to AMSC, and benefit from no electrical losses, making them a “perfect conductor” of electricity.
South Korea is a leader in smart and clean energy adoption, including smart grid, energy storage systems and micro grid technology, according to AMSC, which is seeking to grow the smart grid side of its business.
“The energizing of the first direct current high temperature superconductor cable in a real grid demonstrates KEPCO’s commitment to developing world-class, leading edge technologies,” KEPCO CEO Hwan-Eik Cho said in a statement. “We expect to continue to develop superconductor cable projects with the objective of being the foremost utility in superconductor-enabled solutions.”
It’s a positive development for AMSC, which is seeking to grow its business outside its wind segment, which took a major hit in 2011 when its largest customer, Sinovel Wind Group of China, failed to pay AMSC for products it had ordered. AMSC then became embroiled in a legal battle with Sinovel, alleging the firm stole trade secrets. The company is still trying to collect damages in the Chinese court system.
In the U.S., AMSC has been selected by the Department of Homeland Security to help upgrade Greater Chicago’s electric grid. There is a pressing need for grid upgrades throughout the U.S., as existing infrastructure makes it difficult to restore power after catastrophic events, according to AMSC.