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Super Conducting Cables-A new solution for Transmission loss

Over the years, loss of energy while Power Transmission & Distribution was a biggest challenge faced in utilities management. If we go by figures, in America itself 6% of the electricity generated is getting lost due to inefficiency during transmission. It was around 252 Million Mega-Watt hours and about $21Billion in monetary measures in the year 2005. You can imagine the amount of loss it makes when calculated among all nations on an annual basis and so it’s impact to the world economy.

Conventional Copper or Aluminum cables are used to transmit large amount of power to different areas in a country. These cables are capable of transmitting power at high voltages through underground duct system. As discussed, energy loss of these cables are very high and existing duct system limit the size of the cable and the amount of power that can be transferred through it.

What is Superconductivity?

Superconductivity is a phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic flux fields occurring in certain materials when cooled below a characteristic critical temperature. It is discovered by Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes on April 8, 1911, in Leiden.

How is it can be utilized in cable Industry?

Conductors kept at certain temperature will have zero resistance and so the loss of electricity can be reduced. Construction of the HTS (High Temperature Superconducting) cable uses traditional stranding techniques and equipment to wind HTS wires around a hollow core. Once liquid nitrogen is run through the hollow core to cool the HTS material, it becomes superconducting with significantly more current transport capacity than conventional copper-based cables. There are two types of cables design which are ‘warm dielectric design’ and ‘cold dielectric design’. The former one is based on a flexible support with stranded HTS tapes in or several layers forming the cable conductor. This conductor, cooled by the flow of liquid nitrogen, is surrounded by a cryogenic envelope employing two concentric flexible stainless steel corrugated tubes with vacuum and superinsulation in between.

What are the benefits of Superconductive Cables?

  • Super conducting cables can provide 2 to 5 times more power than conventional cables of same size.
  • More power can be moved using existing duct system.
  • Reduced transmission loss.

Superconducting cable can transfer power from substation to substation without transmission loss. So it will be a future tool to curtail the transmission loss and there by to save a huge amount of money.

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Common Abbreviations

Thermo Plastic

  • PVC-Polyvinyl Chloride
  • PE-Polythylene,Polythene
  • OHLS-Halogen Free Low Smoke
  • LDPE-Low Density Polyethylene
  • MDPE-Medium Density Polyethylene
  • HDPE-High Density Polyethylene
  • PUR-Polyurethane(Thermosetting also)
  • RPLA-Reduced Propagation Low Acid PVC
  • PA-Polyamide


  • XLPE-Cross Linked Polyethylene
  • SR-Silicon Rubber
  • XLOHLS-Cross Linked OHLS
  • PUR-Polyurethane
  • EPR-Ethylene Propylene Rubber
  • PCP-Polychloroprene
  • CPE-Chlorinated Polyethylene
  • EVA-Ethylene Vinyl Acetate
  • EMA-Ethylene Methyl Acrylate

Metallic Layers

  • SWA-Steel Wire Armour
  • GSWA-Galvanized Steel Wire Armour
  • PBE-Lead Alloy E barrier sheath
  • AWA-Aluminum Wire Armour
  • GSWB-Galvanized steel wire braid
  • TCWB-Tinned Copper Wire Braid
  • PCWB-Plain Copper Wire Braid
  • ABWB-Annealed Brass Wire Braid
  • Al-PE Aluminum Polymer Foil Tape


  • Fillers-Thermoplastic Centers
  • MICA-Taping for Fire Resistance
  • PETP-Polyethylene Trephthalate Binder
  • ID-Identification Tape
  • Strain Members, Steel or Textile
  • Fibre Braid,Glass,Nylon or Textile

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