Superconductor Cables: Technology, Utility Applications and ComEd Project

For many years, Superconductor Cables have been considered a potentially powerful new tool for electric utility engineers. Since the 1986 discovery of High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) materials that can be economically cooled with inexpensive liquid nitrogen, the utility industry has been highly interested in the technology. In 2000, the first trial demonstration of an HTS cable occurred in Carrollton, Georgia; followed by dozens of further demonstrations in the USA, Europe, Japan, Korea, and other countries.

In 2014, the first permanent, continuously utilized HTS cable was installed in Essen, Germany where it has operated flawlessly for 6 years. Other permanent projects have since been planned in Korea and are under consideration in many countries.

In May of 2019, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the classification of this project as being a transmission asset and a cost recovery plan for the first permanent HTS cable installation in North America with Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) in Chicago. With project ground-breaking having occurred in August 2020 and commissioning expected in the Spring of 2021, this project represents commercial adoption of the technology and is already driving many US electric utilities to educate and investigate this proven and newly available technology.

This presentation will be given by Michael Ross, Managing Director of Superconductor Power Systems for AMSC. The presentation will include the following discussions:
– Background of High Temperature Superconductor Cable Technology
– Review of Cable Components and Accessories
– Features and Applications of HTS Cables on Utility Systems
– Benefits of HTS Cables for Urban Utilities
• Improved Resiliency & Reliability
• Capacity Increases
• System Modernization
– Review of ComEd’s Active HTS Cable Project in Chicago

The timing of this presentation precedes by one month, the expected energization and initial testing of this first-of-its-kind project in North America.

Michael Ross, American Superconductor

Mr. Ross has been with the AMSC team for twenty years. He joined AMSC as a Transmission and Distribution Planning Engineer, designing technical solutions and applications for utilities and industry utilizing AMSC Power Electronic and High Temperature Superconductor (HTS) products. Later, he became the Director of AMSC’s FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission Systems) Product Line and then the Managing Director of AMSC’s Distribution Power Products. He currently serves as Managing Director of Superconductor Power Products. Mr. Ross works with electric utilities to find optimized solutions utilizing AMSC’s Superconductor based solutions to ensure that the products are ideally designed for our customers.

Prior to joining AMSC, Mr. Ross worked in the transmission planning department for Xcel Energy (formally Northern States Power).

Mr. Ross received a BSEE degree from North Dakota State University in 2000 and has performed post graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mr. Ross is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin and a member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and CIGRE.


Apr 14, 2021 @ 12pm-1pm Central Time


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