AMSC announced at DistribuTECH an order from Nexans for high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire to be used in a superconductor fault current limiter (SFCL). The SFCL will act as a surge protector at “AmpaCity,” a project being undertaken by Nexans, RWE Group, one of Europe’s leading electricity and gas companies, and the German research institute KIT. AmpaCity aims to replace inner-city high-voltage equipment with superconductor systems.

Medium voltage superconductor systems uniquely provide an alternative to conventional high voltage installations. The SFCL will provide overload protection to a superconductor cable, lowering the fault current levels, and allowing for a safe and reliable interconnection to the grid. The complete HTS system, comprising a cable and SFCL, will be manufactured by Nexans. The SFCL will employ AMSC’s Amperium® superconductor wire.

“The AmpaCity project is laying the groundwork for modern inner-city electricity distribution,” said Jean-Maxime Saugrain, Nexans Corporate Vice President Technical. “The fault current limiter is an important part of the complete system, and we are happy to utilize AMSC wire for it.”

Superconductor fault current limiters act as surge protectors for power grids. As electricity demand and generation are steadily growing and power grids are becoming more interconnected, the magnitude of fault currents on power grids is increasing significantly. By lowering the fault current levels, SFCLs enable utilities to defer or eliminate equipment replacement, increase equipment life and enhance system operation.

“AMSC is proud to act as a supplier to Nexans on the landmark AmpaCity project,” said Daniel P. McGahn, President and CEO, AMSC.