Superconducting Fault Current Limiter (SFCL) with Nexans components goes on line at RWE grid

Paris, 18 May 2004 - Implementation of the SFCL into the energy grid for RWE Energy has just been celebrated in Netphen near Siegen (Germany). Representatives from participating companies and from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) as project supporters highlighted the tremendous importance of this first worldwide field test for superconducting fault current limiters.

RWEFuture superconducting fault current limiters (SFCL) will enhance supply quality for electricity grids, enabling improved grid structure thanks to core components manufactured by Nexans.

A SFCL is an innovative energy-technology appliance, preventing the occurrence of high fault currents in electricity grids. The High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) components, the core of the current limiter, were developed and manufactured by Nexans in Hürth, Germany, according to a proprietary melt casting process. The HTS material is capable of changing its electrical resistance significantly by several orders of magnitude in the shortest period of time.

"Fault current limiters represent a very attractive application of HTS materials and constitute one of our key development axes in that field" said Jean-Maxime Saugrain, Superconductor Activity Manager for Nexans.

"Thanks to this success we now play a leading role with our superconducting material and our component design," explains Dr Joachim Bock, Managing Director of Nexans superconductivity subsidiary in Hürth, "we are well positioned to take advantage of new developments in this area."

"High fault currents, resulting from increasing parallel connections of electricity grids and through more decentralised supplies, can be limited. Conventional switch gears and protections react much too slowly for this. The SFCL provides considerable quality gains in terms of the supply of electric energy," comments Dr. Martin Kleimaier, responsible for new technologies at RWE Energy. This SFCL, presented for the very first time, is designed for a performance of 10 mega volt amperes (MVA) and is being subjected to a comprehensive field test in the 10 kV grid of RWE Energy in Netphen. The partners are already planning the next stage, the development of a corresponding appliance  for the 110 kV  transmission level.



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Nexans is the worldwide leader in the cable industry. The Group brings an extensive range of advanced copper and optical fiber cable solutions to the infrastructure, industry and building markets. Nexans cables and cabling systems can be found in every area of people¿s lives, from telecommunications and energy networks, to aeronautics, aerospace, automobile, railways, building, petrochemical, medical applications, etc. With an industrial presence in 29 countries and commercial activities in 65 countries, Nexans employs 20. 000 people and had sales in 2004 of euros 4.9 billion. Nexans is listed on the Paris stock exchange.