Nexans supplies innovative Superconducting Fault Current Limiter to Applied Superconductor Ltd

This innovative device, that could play a key role in the future development of Smart Grids, is being installed into a medium voltage substation in Lancashire in order to optimize the performance and safety of the local power network.

Paris - February 26, 2009 – Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, has supplied a superconducting fault current limiter to Applied Superconductor Limited (ASL) for a pilot installation in the UK. ASL, a UK company based in Blyth, Northumberland is currently installing and commissioning the innovative component into a medium voltage (11 kV) substation in Lancashire, where it will aid optimizing performance and safety of the local power network.

Nexans current limiter moduleThe pilot installation will provide a practical demonstration of the benefits provided by these specific limiters. Thanks to their almost instantaneous response to fault currents, they indeed prevent overload of switchgear and other network components which can occur during short-circuits, and can in the end help avoid blackouts. As a consequence, they are expected to play an increasing role in meshed networks, in the connection of renewable generation and in future Smart Grids.

The threshold of superconducting fault current limiter commercialisation is being crossed with this project“ says Dr. Joachim Bock, MD of Nexans SuperConductors. He continues: “Further limiters for medium voltage applications and with varying specifications are in production. Adapting them to specific customer needs, such as to protect power plant auxiliary networks, can easily be achieved, thanks to the modular nature of the device. With this product we have progressed up the value chain from material via component to system, to provide our customers with the optimum solution“.

First pilot superconducting fault current limiter

The limiter supplied to ASL was produced by Nexans SuperConductors. As well as developing and manufacturing the superconducting material and components, Nexans SuperConductors designed and assembled the complete system including the cryostat. The current limiter was successfully subjected to high-voltage tests and to a full series of short-circuit tests witnessed by ASL.

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About Nexans

With energy as the basis of its development, Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling systems. The Group is a global player in the infrastructure, industry, building and Local Area Network markets. Nexans addresses a series of market segments from energy, transport and telecom networks to shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear power, automotive, electronics, aeronautics, handling and automation. With an industrial presence in 39 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 23,500 people and had sales in 2008 of 6.8 billion euros. Nexans is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment A. More information on

About Applied Superconductor Ltd

Set up in 2004, Applied Superconductor Limited (ASL) provides innovative solutions in fault current management, utilising the rapidly developing technologies of High Temperature Superconductivity. By combining its knowledge of electrical power system design and a practical approach to the delivery of customer tailored solutions, ASL seeks to provide Private and Utility Electrical Network Operators with a fully integrated fault management service.