High temperature superconductors have advantages such as higher critical temperature than the conventional superconductors (approximately 77 K). Thus, they can regain superconductivity with the help of liquid nitrogen cooling. Their ability to conduct with very minimal losses than conventional conductors makes them ideal for the power industry. Also, their higher critical temperatures makes operation and construction easier and more cost effective. They are currently being used to manufacture power cables, transmission lines, and other components such as fault current limiters (FCLs).
Fault current limiters are used so that a particular section of the network does not get isolated during a fault condition. As their name implies they limit the fault current to acceptable values unlike conventional fuses and circuit breakers. Using superconducting materials in the FCLs adds advantages such as minimal human intervention, faster operation, and so on. The devices also are seldom damaged due to high fault currents. When the fault current value increases beyond the critical current limit, the material loses superconductivity and its resistance increases. This helps in limiting the fault current that passes though the circuit.
Low-voltage direct current (LVDC) has received significant focus and attention of the global research community as it provides ample scope for generation and distribution of electricity through extensive usage of renewable energy resources. Moreover, developing countries have turned toward LVDC for providing additional electrical access to remote locations. This need for electricity access is driving establishment of a systems approach to standardization that can take LVDC well beyond individual devices.
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Keywords: High temperature superconductors, fault current limiters, superconducting fault current limiters, power transmission, transmission lines, SFCL, HTS, HTSFCL, magnetic levitation