Superconductors offer major advantages for the electric power grid, including high current and power capacity, high efficiency arising from the lossless current flow, and a unique current-limiting functionality arising from a superconductor-to-resistive transition. These advantages can be brought to bear on equipment such as underground power cables, fault current limiters, rotating machinery, transformers, and energy storage. The first round of significant commercial-scale superconductor power-equipment demonstrations, carried out during the past decade, relied on a first-generation high-temperature superconductor (HTS) wire. However, during the past few years, with the recent commercial availability of high-performance second-generation HTS wires, power-equipment demonstrations have increasingly been carried out with these new wires, which bring important advantages. The foundation is being laid for commercial expansion of this important technology into the power grid.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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