Mar 2013
Electricity Distribution
Superconducting Fault Current Limiter (SFCL)
IFI 0509
Mar 2013
SP Energy Networks
SP Energy Networks Innovation
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Innovation Funding Incentive
High Voltage Technology
The development of a non linear high temperature superconducting ceramic in series with a circuit breaker for the clamping and clearance of fault energy.

When the material is operated at below its critical temperature it loses all electrical resistance, thereby allowing load current to flow with negligible losses. Either the increased current density caused by fault current, or the loss of cooling medium (liquid nitrogen) causes the temperature of the superconducting material to rise and it reverts to a normal resistive state.

Being a solid state device, the Superconducting Fault Current Limiter (SFCL) has been proven to operate in a few milliseconds, after which the impedance remains high until the fault is cleared by conventional means (protection operated circuit breakers, fuses, etc.). The SFCLs operation is sufficiently fast to ensure that the first peak of the fault current is limited. The subsequent limited current can be set to suit a specific application.

Three devices (one per DNO) will be constructed and installed covering a range of applications: transformer tails, bus section, interconnected network connection. The successful completion of this project is likely to pave the way for higher voltage.

This project aims to design, develop and trial three 12kV Superconducting Fault Current Limiting (SFCL) devices on three different UK networks.