New superconductor fibres claim to carry 40 times more electricity

New sapphire-based fibres created by a university could hold the key to a revolution for the renewable energy industry.

The work, researched by Israeli academics, opens up the possibility of quickly and effectively moving large amount of energy from remote wind or solar farms to urban populations without the need for vast amounts of traditional copper based cables.

According to the team, from Tel Aviv University, what they have developed is new type of superconducting wire using fibres made of single crystals of sapphire, which could be used in high powered cables.

As well as the increased capacity of the wires the method also benefits from not over heating as copper wires can be prone to do.

According to the researchers, even when factoring in temperature requirements, each tiny wire can carry approximately 40 times more electricity than a copper wire of the same size.

Lead researcher on the project at the university, Dr Boaz Almog, said: "One area where such superconductors could lend a hand is in collecting renewable energy sources.

"Sources such as wind turbines or solar panels are usually located in remote places such as deserts or offshore lines, and you need an efficient way to deliver the current

"These superconductors can traverse the long distances without losing any of the energy to heat due to electrical resistance."

Superconducting cables could also be an efficient way to bring large amounts of power to big cities

"If you want to supply current for a section of a city like New York, you will need electric cables with a total cross-section of more than one meter by one meter, superconductors have larger current capacities using a fraction of the space."

The new superconductors will be demonstrated at the 100th European Conference on Applied Superconductivity later this month in the Hague in the Netherlands.

Luke Walsh


offshore | solar | energy manager


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
Click a keyword to see more stories on that topic, view related news, or find more related items.


You need to be logged in to make a comment. Don't have an account? Set one up right now in seconds!

© Faversham House Group Ltd 2011. edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.