COMMERCIALIZATION DEMONSTRATION OF MID-SIZED SUPERCONDUCTING MAGNETIC ENERGY STORAGE TECHNOLOGY FOR ELECTRIC UTILITYAPPLICATIONS

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As an outgrowth of the Technology Reinvestment Program of the 1990’s, an Agreement was formed between BWXT and the DOE to promote the commercialization of Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) technology. Business and marketing studies showed that the performance of electric transmission lines could be improved with this SMES technology by stabilizing the line thereby allowing the reserved stability margin to be used. One main benefit sought was to double the capacity and the amount of energy flow on an existing transmission line by enabling the use of the reserved stability margin, thereby doubling revenue. Also, electrical disturbances, power swings, ... continued below

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WEBER, CHARLES M. June 24, 2008.

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Description

As an outgrowth of the Technology Reinvestment Program of the 1990’s, an Agreement was formed between BWXT and the DOE to promote the commercialization of Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) technology. Business and marketing studies showed that the performance of electric transmission lines could be improved with this SMES technology by stabilizing the line thereby allowing the reserved stability margin to be used. One main benefit sought was to double the capacity and the amount of energy flow on an existing transmission line by enabling the use of the reserved stability margin, thereby doubling revenue. Also, electrical disturbances, power swings, oscillations, cascading disturbances and brown/black-outs could be mitigated and rendered innocuous; thereby improving power quality and reliability. Additionally, construction of new transmission lines needed for increased capacity could be delayed or perhaps avoided (with significant savings) by enabling the use of the reserved stability margin of the existing lines. Two crucial technical aspects were required; first, a large, powerful, dynamic, economic and reliable superconducting magnet, capable of oscillating power flow was needed; and second, an electrical power interface and control to a transmission line for testing, demonstrating and verifying the benefits and features of the SMES system was needed. A project was formed with the goals of commercializing the technology by demonstrating SMES technology for utility applications and to establish a domestic capability for manufacturing large superconducting magnets for both commercial and defense applications. The magnet had very low AC losses to support the dynamic and oscillating nature of the stabilizing power flow. Moreover, to economically interface to the transmission line, the magnet had the largest operating voltage ever made. The manufacturing of that design was achieved by establishing a factory with newly designed and acquired equipment, tooling, methods and skilled personnel. The final magnet system measured 14 feet in diameter, 10 feet in height, and weighed about 35 tons. The superconducting magnet and design technology was successfully implemented and demonstrated. The project was not successfully concluded however; as the critical planned final demonstration was not achieved. The utilities could not understand or clarify their future business needs and the regulatory requirements, because of the deregulation policies and practices of the country. Much uncertainty existed which prevented utilities from defining business plans, including asset allocation and cost recovery. Despite the technical successes and achievements, the commercial development could not be implemented and achieved. Thus, the demonstration of this enhancement to the utility’s transmission system and to the reliability of the nation’s electrical grid was not achieved. The factory was ultimately discontinued and the technology, equipment and product were placed in storage.

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO/10011-1
  • Grant Number: FC36-94GO10011
  • DOI: 10.2172/932779 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 932779
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc902704

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • June 24, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 4:59 p.m.

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WEBER, CHARLES M. COMMERCIALIZATION DEMONSTRATION OF MID-SIZED SUPERCONDUCTING MAGNETIC ENERGY STORAGE TECHNOLOGY FOR ELECTRIC UTILITYAPPLICATIONS, report, June 24, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc902704/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.