Discover Germany, Issue 49, April 2017

Page 84

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  HANNOVER MESSE 2017

The compact super conductors are as powerful as common aluminium busbars.

Transferring from copper to super conductors.

Workshop assembly.

Crossing the line:

Superconductors stand for energy transfer, supreme A German provider for superconductor-based high-current system solutions is currently setting technological benchmarks for the future, just in time for crossing the threshold to a new era of energy transfer. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: VESC

Vision Electric Super Conductors (VESC) produce and implement superconductorbased energy transfer systems for industrial, network-related and scientific areas. Conventional ways of energy transfer like overhead copper and aluminum cables are creating resistance and therefore involve up to 15 per cent of energy loss over long distances. This is where superconductors come in. Superconductors are materials that can be used for energy transfer producing no resistance at all, with the result of zero energy loss. Having been originally discovered in 1911, nowadays superconductors present a brand new, environmentally friendly version made of ceramics, finally ready to be used on a broad industrial basis. The global turnaround in energy policies needs new solutions for the near future. In Germany for example, the north with its strong wind resources produces much 84  |  Issue 49  |  April 2017

more energy than the middle and south, where in turn the most energy is needed for industrial production. The efficiently produced wind energy therefore needs an equally efficient way of being transported to where it is being consumed. VESC provide an alternative to conventional high-voltage technology. Their flexible ICE®BAR and ICE®CABLE systems make industrial high current usage simpler as well as more efficient. Both are ready-to-use systems, capable of transporting high currents on a low to middle-voltage level, virtually loss-free. Applicable to both direct and alternating currents between 10kA and above 200kA, they facilitate an efficient energy transfer across any desired distance. Apart from the future use for connecting to renewable sources, superconductor-based energy transfer is also of high interest for major industrial firms, for example those using electrolysis. With the support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and

Energy, one such project is just about to start. The long-term ‘3S-Demonstrator’ trial project, a collaboration of VESC with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) and the Dresden Institute of Air Handling and Refrigeration (ILK), will transport 20kA currents across a length of 25 metres, imitating real life compatibility for industrial usage. Both in terms of cost efficiency and environmental protection, superconductorbased energy transfer is on the brink of being applied on a broad range – with VESC providing the groundbreaking, highly flexible system technology and a comfortable full-service maintenance package.

Superconductor positioned in cryostat.