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Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC) have energized the world's first high-temperature superconductor (HTS) power transmission cable system in a commercial power grid.

The 138 kV system, which consists of three individual HTS power cable phases running in parallel, is operating in LIPA's Holbrook transmission right of way. The cable system, including six outdoor terminations for connection to LIPA's grid, was designed, manufactured and installed by Nexans. The cable utilizes HTS wire produced by AMSC, which also is the prime contractor for the project. The 2,000-foot-long cable system is cryogenically cooled using a liquid nitrogen refrigeration system from Air Liquide.

The cable system contains hair-thin, ribbon-shaped HTS wires that conduct 150 times the electricity of copper wires that are similar in size. This power density advantage enables transmission-voltage HTS cables to utilize far less wire and yet conduct up to five times more power - in a smaller right of way - than traditional copper-based cables, according to AMSC.

When operated at full capacity, the new HTS cable system is capable of transmitting up to 574 MW of electricity.

SOURCE: American Superconductor Corp.

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