Unveils First Working Superconducting Power Delivery System
of High-Temperature Superconducting Cables Provide Power to
Senior Communications Specialist
Phone: (1) 800-444-1700 ext. 4884
Fax: (1) 770-832-4584
(Carrollton, Ga. February
18, 2000) What once was science fiction became reality today as
Southwire Company dedicated the world's first high-temperature superconductor
(HTS) power delivery system to provide power for industrial use.
The system, which includes
a trio of 100-foot HTS power distribution cables, provides electricity
to three Southwire manufacturing plants in Carrollton, Ga. It is
the first time a company has made the difficult transition from
laboratory testing to a practical field application.
"As the global population
continues to boom and the world economy grows, those involved in
the distribution of electricity will have to explore new ways of
delivering power to blossoming customer bases," said Roy Richards,
Jr., Southwire's chief executive officer. "Southwire is proud to
play a role in the development of one of those alternatives."
Helping Richards throw a
series of switches activating the system were U.S. Secretary of
Energy Bill Richardson and Georgia Governor Roy Barnes.
"This is an exciting step
toward the first practical deployment of superconducting technology,
which promises to do for electric transmission what fiber optics
is doing for communication," Richardson said. "These cables, developed
through a partnership with the Energy Department and the private
sector, will move large amounts of electricity using the same space
or less space than traditional cable, increasing energy efficiency,
enhancing grid reliability and reducing costs for businesses and
"This announcement is another
example of Georgia's leadership in technology," Barnes said.
Nearly immune to resistance,
superconducting power cables lose only about a half-percent of power
during transmission, compared to 5 to 8 percent lost by traditional
power cables. HTS cables also deliver more power, about three to
five times more power than traditional power cables.
As the rapid growth of urban
areas increases demand for electricity, while limiting the space
for overhead and underground cable installations, the ability of
HTS cables to transmit more power using the same amount of space
as traditional cable will be increasingly important. While they
will not replace overhead lines, HTS cables can be used underground
in areas where more power is needed but space for additional lines
is not available.
HTS cables also could be
used to construct power distribution rings around moderate-sized
cities, where lower-capacity cables could tap in and carry power
to customers throughout the community.
"For years, superconductors
have represented the promise of more energy-efficient and cost-effective
electrical power delivery," Richards said. "The live installation
of this HTS system is a giant step forward in making that promise
Southwire's partners include
the U.S. Department of Energy, which has co-funded the project,
and Oak Ridge and Argonne national laboratories. Industrial partners
include Intermagnetics General Corporation and EURUS Technologies,
Inc. Electrical utility partners include Southern Company, Georgia
Transmission Corporation and Southern California Edison. The world
market for HTS materials is estimated to be $30 billion by the year
"The installation of these
load-bearing cables make Southwire one of the world leaders in superconducting
technology development," said R.L. Hughey, Southwire's superconductor
project manager. "We're proud of this groundbreaking achievement
and we're excited about being able to bring our customers the benefit
of this leading-edge technology that will be capable of handling
the power demands of the new century."
With annual sales of US$1.4
billion, Southwire Company is one of the leading wire and cable
manufacturers. Southwire technologies and products, including building
wire and cable, copper and aluminum rod and utility cable products,
are distributed to countries worldwide. Southwire's world headquarters
is in Carrollton, Ga., USA, about 40 miles west of Atlanta. Founded
in 1950 by Roy Richards, Sr., the company will celebrate its 50th
anniversary in March.