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Freezing cold electricity highway
innogy brings a world premiere to Essen: as part of the AmpaCity project, two transformer substations in Essen city centre were linked with a superconducting cable for the first time.
The underground cable transmits electricity over a distance of one kilometre almost completely without losses. This is made possible by extremely cold temperatures. The core of the “high-temperature superconductor cable” (HTS cable) is cooled down to approximately minus 200° Celsius. At this temperature the resistance of the ceramic conductor is reduced to zero – electricity can flow almost completely without losses. These HTS cables are regarded as a forward-looking technology for space-saving and particularly efficient transmission of electricity.
The phenomenon of superconductivity was discovered more than 100 years ago. However, due to the extremely low temperatures involved, utilising this effect has been extraordinarily difficult.
On this project innogy collaborates with Nexans, a leading European cable manufacturer; Project Management Jülich and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The AmpaCity research project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.
AmpaCity can replace up to five conventional 10,000-volt cables. In addition, fewer transformer substations are required, because superconductors can transmit even large electricity volumes at a lower voltage. In this way valuable spaces in the city are freed up for other uses.
With the project launch of AmpaCity in 2011 the superconductor has become part of the research project on intelligent electricity distribution in the city. After type verification and testing in Nexans’ high-voltage test lab were completed, manufacturing of the cable commenced. Ground-breaking and underground engineering followed and the cable was laid. Since the superconductor was officially commissioned on 30 April 2014, it has been integrated into day-to-day grid operation and the testing phase continues.
AmpaCity in pictures
Partner von AmpaCity
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Project Management Jülich
As an expert in research and innovation management, Project Management Jülich supports federal and state authorities as well as the European Commission in realising their research objectives, especially in terms of funding for projects. Project Management Jülich manages project funding for the 6th Energy Research Programme and others on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Within the knowledge triangle of research – teaching – innovation, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology takes on the roles of both a university and a national research centre as part of the Helmholtz Association.
Nexans is a leading cable manufacturer and provides solutions in all areas of application. Nexans cables and cabling systems ensure the secure transmission of energy or data. Products range from copper wire to hybrid line, from delicate sensor cable to high-voltage line and also include high-quality connectors and joints as well as innovative superconducting systems.
innogy is also active here
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innogy provides numerous options for an efficient and comfortable supply of electricity from renewable sources. We are also active in the following sectors.