Skip to Main Content
Superconducting devices tend to operate in one of three general regimes. Applications which are based on the zero resistance of the superconducting state, those based on the transition between the superconducting and normal state, and those based on Josephson junctions. When speaking about energy applications the main interest is focused on the first and second regime. Electrical power applications have been a challenge for high-temperature superconductor (HTS) materials since their discovery. Today, however, the only power application that has been commercialized is superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) and all those units are based on NbTi technology at 4.2 K. Success of HTS devices in the energy sector depends on developing materials to techno-economic maturity and organizing efficient production, making model tests of key components and proving reliability in endurance tests. In general superconducting power applications offer a number of benefits to the electrical system: increased energy efficiency, reduced equipment size, reduced emissions and flexible transmission and distribution. This paper reviews the current status of superconducting power technology in Europe where some consortia have been established. SCENET Power (The European Network for Power Applications of Superconductivity) is formed by working groups of a small number of laboratories collaborating in pilot projects and CONECTUS is the Consortium of European Companies Determined to use Superconductivity.