The FastGrid project is approaching completion! This European project is coordinated by the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and brings together 12 partners who aim to develop a superconducting materials for Direct Current fault current limiters. SuperGrid Institute strongly believes in this technology and its potential for use within HVDC meshed grids. With the project completion date just a few months away, find out more about the ins and outs of the project in this video which was filmed onsite at our premises.
As the video shows, fault current limiters aid circuit breakers in clearing faults by instantaneously reducing the current to a breakable level thanks to the superconductors they contain. These superconductors are brilliant. They have a very high level of resistance when the current is excessive and no resistance at all when the current is at a normal level (rated level). This technology is especially useful for Direct Current networks; it is a passive system that provides maximal network security for DC networks without the use of ultra-fast circuit breakers.
FastGrid aims to develop superconducting materials suitable for use in HVDC applications by producing a 10-20kV SuperConducting Fault Current Limiter (SCFCL) prototype (made from 60 – 120m of coiled superconductor tape). SuperGrid Institute is a key player in this project, participating in designing the prototype and testing it.
Superconductors only demonstrate their properties at very low temperatures (around – 200°C). A cryostat platform that was co-funded by the FastGrid project was installed at SuperGrid Institute to test these innovative superconductors. SuperGrid Institute has designed the final tests on the prototype which will be performed soon in collaboration with project’s Italian partner, RSE.
Following this project, our institute plans to produce a 50kV demonstrator (using 330m of superconductor tape) and test it for use under Direct Current using our future high power test platform. In doing so, we will be able to offer our customers a piece of equipment that delivers considerable advantages in terms of both cost and space.