Bruker and Schneider Electric Announce Successful Validation Test of their Inductive Superconducting Fault Current Limiter (iSFCL) for the ‘Smart Grid’

Bruker Energy & Supercon Technologies, Inc. (BEST) and Schneider Electric Sachsenwerk GmbH announced the successful completion of a major milestone in the development of a novel shielded, inductive superconducting fault current limiter (iSFCL), which is to begin field test operations in the Stadtwerke Augsburg (Germany) grid in 2013.

Testing of a subscale device under expected operating conditions was performed at the Institute for High-Voltage Engineering and Electrical Energy Systems of the University of Braunschweig, a leading German research institute in the field of high voltage and power systems engineering. This device implements the same concept that is expected to be used in the full-size iSFCL system and utilizes BEST’s 40 mm-wide second generation (2G) high temperature superconductors (HTS), specifically designed for application in fault current limiters.

During the tests in Braunschweig, the device functioned as predicted in more than 100 triggered short-circuits. Due to the novel design of the superconducting modules, the system withstood fault durations of up to 500 milliseconds (ms), believed to be the longest withstand time reported worldwide with HTS coated conductors. The novel, proprietary iSFCL design uses HTS technology, enabling self-activation at extremely fast response times (less than 5 ms) and automatic recovery after a fault situation.

A performance and safety tests of the full-size single-phase prototype will be held later this year.