Superconducting Fault Current Limiter (SFCL)
Electricity North West Limited
Electricity North West Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
LV & 11kV Networks
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 SFCL’s 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, and
interconnected network connection. The successful completion of this
project is likely to pave the way for higher voltage devices.
This project aims to design, develop and trial three 12kV SFCL devices on three different UK networks.