The purpose of this project was to conduct R&D on specified components and provide technical design support to a SuperPower team developing a high temperature superconducting Fault Current Limiter (SFCL). ORNL teamed with SuperPower, Inc. on a Superconductivity Partnerships with Industry (SPI) proposal for the SFCL that was submitted to DOE and approved in FY 2003.

A contract between DOE and SuperPower, Inc. was signed on July 14, 2003, to design, fabricate and test the SFCL. This device employs high temperature superconducting (HTS) elements and SuperPower's proprietary technology.

The program goal was to demonstrate a device that will address a broad range of the utility applications and meet utility industry requirements. This DOE-sponsored Superconductivity Partnership with Industry project would positively impact electric power transmission reliability and security by introducing a new element in the grid that can significantly mitigate fault currents and provide lower cost solutions for grid protection.

The project will conduct R&D on specified components and provide technical design support to a SuperPower-led team developing a SFCL as detailed in tasks 1-5 below. Note the SuperPower scope over the broad SPI project is much larger than that shown below which indicates only the SuperPower tasks that are complementary to the ORNL tasks. SuperPower is the Project Manager for the SFCL program, and is responsible for completion of the project on schedule and budget.

The scope of work for ORNL is to provide R&D support for the SFCL in the following four broad areas: (1) Assist with high voltage subsystem R&D, design, fabrication and testing including characterization of the general dielectric performance of LN2 and component materials; (2) Consult on cryogenic subsystem R&D, design, fabrication and testing; (3) Participate in project conceptual and detailed design reviews; and (4) Guide commercialization by participation on the Technical Advisory Board (TAB).

SuperPower's in-kind work for the SFCL will be provided in the following areas: (1) Work with ORNL to develop suitable test platforms for the evaluation of subsystems and components; (2) Provide cryogenic and high voltage subsystem designs for evaluation; (3) Lead the development of the test plans associated with the subsystem and components and participate in test programs at ORNL; and (4) Based on the test results, finalize the subsystem and component designs and incorporate into the respective SFCL prototypes....(Read more..)