LS Cable & System announced on Nov. 6 that its cables were used in the world’s first commercial superconducting power transmission system built and operated by Korea Electric Power Corp.
The company installed its superconducting cables in the 1 km section between Heungdeok Substation and Singal Substation in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. The superconducting power transmission system began its operation on Nov. 5.
Superconducting cable technology is owned by five companies in Europe, Japan, the United States and Korea. Among them, LG Cable & System is the first company to commercialize a superconducting cable.
Superconducting cables can deliver five to 10 times more electric power at a lower voltage than copper cables. Superconducting cables minimize electricity loss during transmission by applying the superconductivity phenomenon where electric resistance disappears at minus 196 degrees Celsius.
No transformer is required when using superconducting cables. Therefore superconducting cables reduce the required area of a substation into one tenth and cuts cost for the construction and operation of a substation. In addition, remaining substation sites can be used for other purposes. One line of a superconducting cable can replace 10 lines of copper cables so superconducting cables can greatly reduce installation space.
LS Cable & System expects that the diffusion of superconducting cables will cut down on its production costs, widening the cost gap with copper cables.
Moreover, superconducting cables become more effective in urban areas where power consumption is rapidly growing. Simply replacing existing copper cables with superconducting cables can supply more electric power with no changes in facilities such as underground tunnel outlets and pipe conduits.
LS Cable & System began developing superconducting cables in the early 2000s, and since then, eliminated a 30-year technological gap with advanced companies in foreign countries in less than 20 years.
Industry analysts say that the power cable market will grow rapidly and reach 1 trillion won in 2023. “The commercialization of superconducting cables will bring about a paradigm shift, helping Korea take the lead in the power industry ahead of European and Japanese companies,” Myung Ro-hyun, president of LS Cable & System said. “We plan to enter overseas markets in cooperation with KEPCO.”
LS Cable & System succeeded in developing superconducting cables in 2004, becoming the world's fourth company armed with the technology. In 2015, the company completed the demonstration of the DC 80 kV superconducting cable for the first time in the world, becoming the only company in the world that possesses both DC and AC superconducting technologies. It has also developed the world's largest capacity and longest superconducting cable.