10.10.2007: Meldung: AMSC Commences Fault Current Limiter Project
"Superconductor technologies hold great potential for improving the capacity, reliability and efficiency of the nation"s transmission grid," said DOE Secretary Samuel W. Bodman. "Fault current limiters are among the most promising of these technologies given their potential to suppress the increasing power surges that are threatening our electrical infrastructure."
As project manager, AMSC will lead the effort to develop a three-phase, 115 kilovolt (kV) stand-alone FCL. This FCL will feature a proprietary low-inductance coil technology from project partner Siemens that makes the FCL invisible to the grid until it switches to a resistive state upon the detection of a fault current. The demonstration will occur at a location operated by team member SCE. In addition to Siemens and SCE, AMSC"s project partners include Nexans, the University of Houston and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
"Today"s high-tech world can no longer afford yesterday"s low-tech electricity grid," said Southern California Edison Vice President of Engineering James Kelly. "That"s why Southern California Edison is pleased to be working with the U.S. Department of Energy and companies like AMSC and Siemens to develop and deploy a smarter grid to meet our customers" changing needs."
The project will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will focus on customizing approximately 7,500 meters of AMSC"s 2G HTS wire for the FCL application, developing an advanced switching module, designing terminations, and manufacturing and testing a single-phase, transmission-voltage FCL in a laboratory setting. The second phase of the project will focus on manufacturing and testing the three-phase, 115-kV FCL in SCE"s grid.
The DOE, through its National Energy Technology Laboratory, is expected to provide AMSC with approximately $3.1 million in federal funding through completion of the first project budget period, expected to end in September 2008. Upon successful completion of key project milestones and sustained execution of a viable business strategy, as much as $9.7 million in additional DOE funding may be made available to AMSC for continued implementation of this five-year project through September 2012, subject to availability of funds appropriated by the U.S. Congress.
Earlier this year, AMSC and Siemens announced they had achieved commercial-grade performance levels for a medium-voltage FCL. The test was conducted on a single-phase, 2 mega-volt-ampere (2 MVA) FCL that operated at a voltage of 7.5 kilovolts (kV), which corresponds to a 13-kV class of three-phase power equipment. The FCL suppressed the current during a fault by up to twenty-five times. AMSC and Siemens formed a strategic business alliance in February 2005 to develop HTS fault current limiter technology.
"We are excited to commence work on this project with our international team of business and technology leaders," said AMSC founder and Chief Executive Officer Greg Yurek. "Having achieved commercial-grade success with Siemens on a medium-voltage FCL earlier this year, we are ready to take the next step toward commercialization by developing a transmission-voltage system and demonstrating its advanced capabilities in Southern California Edison"s grid. We continue to view stand-alone fault current limiters as one of the largest potential market opportunities for our AMSC Superconductors business."
AMSC"s unique manufacturing process enables it to rapidly customize the dimension, lamination and current carrying capacity for its 2G HTS wire to suit a broad array of applications. High temperature superconductor materials are "smart" because they possess unique physical properties that allow them to conduct electricity with no resistance under normal operating conditions, while also being able to recognize and then instantaneously suppress large surges of electrical current by switching to the resistive state. Suppressing spikes of electrical current is important because it prevents blackouts by preventing damage to expensive electrical equipment in power grids.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX - News) company, Southern California Edison is California"s largest electric utility, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California. SCE"s 50,000-square-mile grid utilizes 16 utility interconnections, and 4,990 transmission and distribution circuits. The system is maintained and operated by 425 transmission and distribution crews and 13,000 employees with over a century of experience.
About American Superconductor (NASDAQ: AMSC - News)
AMSC is a leading energy technologies company offering an array of solutions based on two proprietary technologies: programmable power electronic converters and high temperature superconductor (HTS) wires. The company"s products, services and system-level solutions enable cleaner, more efficient and more reliable generation, delivery and use of electric power. AMSC is a leader in alternative energy, offering grid interconnection solutions as well as licensed wind energy designs and electrical systems. As the world"s principal supplier of HTS wire, the company is enabling a new generation of compact, high-power electrical products, including power cables, grid-level surge protectors, Secure Super Grids(TM), motors, generators, and advanced transportation and defense systems. AMSC also provides utility and industrial customers worldwide with voltage regulation systems that dramatically enhance power grid capacity, reliability and security, as well as industrial productivity. The company"s technologies are protected by a broad and deep intellectual property portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents and licenses worldwide. More information is available at www.amsc.com.
American Superconductor and design, Revolutionizing the Way the World Uses Electricity, AMSC, Powered by AMSC, SuperVAR, D-VAR, DVC, PQ-IVR, PowerModule, PQ-SVC, Secure Super Grids, Windtec and SuperGEAR are trademarks or registered trademarks of American Superconductor Corporation or its subsidiaries.
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American Superconductor Corporation
Jason Fredette, 508-621-4177
Director of Investor & Media Relations