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Superconductive Technologies Open Up New Prospects for Russian Power Industry

On 20 December 2019, a superconducting fault current limiter made by SuperOx was put in operation on SS Mnevniki of the United Energy Company in Moscow.

Superconductive Technologies Open Up New Prospects for Russian Power Industry

The United Energy Company (UEC) is a largest power grid company in Moscow engaged in the development, operation and reconstruction of city-owned electrical networks.

The United Energy Company provides transmission and distribution of electricity, carries out technological connection of consumers, and is building new electric networks.

The UEC property complex includes: 110–220 kV supply centers, 6–20 / 0.4 kV transformer substations, 6–20 kV distribution and connection points, more than 43,000 km of power transmission lines ranging 0.4–220 kV.

Superconductive Technologies Open Up New Prospects for Russian Power Industry

Since 2006, SuperOx has been developing the technology of high temperature superconductors (HTS), producing Russian-made HTS wires and power equipment based on them using its own technology.

In 2014, the Government of Moscow initiated implementation of a project of superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL) to ensure high reliability of power supply of the city.

Superconducting fault current limiter is developed and manufactured by SuperOx.

At the end of 2017, by the decision of the Ministry of Energy of Russian Federation the SFCL received the status of a national project.

The mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin took part in the event together with UEC CEO Evgeny Prokhorov and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SuperOx Andrey Vavilov.

Putting in operation of the superconducting fault current limiter at the substation Mnevniki in Moscow L-R: Chairman of the Board of Directors at SuperOx Andrey Vavilov, Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin and CEO of United Energy Company Evgeny Prokhorov

Putting in operation of the superconducting fault current limiter at the substation Mnevniki in Moscow L-R: Chairman of the Board of Directors at SuperOx Andrey Vavilov, Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin and CEO of United Energy Company Evgeny Prokhorov

‘Here, in Mnevniki, a unique technology has been created, no analogues of which there exist anywhere — neither in Russia nor abroad. This is a superconducting technology that improves the quality and reliability of power supply,’ — noted Sergei Sobyanin during the inspection of the substation.

‘SuperOx has developed, manufactured, delivered, installed current-limiting devices of the superconducting type. Inside reactors there are superconducting modules which ensure a nominal mode of this device, immersed in liquid nitrogen with a temperature of –200 °С. The temperature of liquid nitrogen is maintained by the cryosystem,’ said Chairman of the Board of Directors of SuperOx Andrey Vavilov.

Superconducting fault current limiter of SuperOx at the electric substation Mnevniki of the United Energy Company in Moscow

Superconducting fault current limiter of SuperOx at the electric substation Mnevniki of the United Energy Company in Moscow

The superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL) is an innovative development. A typical Moscow substation was selected for its implementation. The total transformer capacity of SS Mnevniki is 300 MVA. It was commissioned in 2012 and provides power supply to the West administrative district of the capital.

Electric substation Mnevniki of the United Energy Company in Moscow

Electric substation Mnevniki of the United Energy Company in Moscow

8 more superconducting fault current limiters are expected for installation on substations of the United Energy Company in Moscow.

Application of SFCL would allow to realize the ring connection of electric power system of Moscow, ensuring uninterruptible supply of electricity and decreasing terms of connection to the grid. The project does not involve consequences in tariffs for end consumers and has a long-term economic effect for the Russian capital.

The main function of SFCL is the almost instantaneous short-circuit current limitation and reduction at the same time, of loads on other elements of the system, which radically reduces the requirements to the stability of all equipment of the power system in emergency conditions.

At the end of 2017, by the decision of the working group under the Ministry of Energy of Russian Federation joint project of the United Energy Company and SuperOx on the implementation of superconducting technologies to the Moscow energy system received the status of a national project.

SFCL has a voltage class 220 kV, its power is enough to maintain super reliable power supply of three districts of the metropolis with a population of 500 thousand people.

Current limiting device is an innovative Russian development and has no analogues abroad in its voltage class. It is the first superconducting device in the Moscow power network.

The device was developed by Engenergoproject. Among equipment manufacturers — Russian enterprises SuperOx and Izolyator, a South Korean company Cryogenic & Vacuum Engineering and Japanese Taiyo Nippon Sanso.

Within the framework of the project, Izolyator plant designed and manufactured high-voltage bushings for SFCL.

In 2017, in the testing center of the company with the participation of colleagues from SuperOx for the first time in Russia, specially designed bushings were successfully tested at a temperature of –200 °C with internal RIN insulation of nominal voltage classes 110 and 220 kV.

Unlike with serial bushings, to achieve the necessary cold resistance, special technical solutions were applied that allowed the bushing to withstand the differential of temperatures from –200 °С in the bottom part to +10 ºС in the upper point.

Test of a 220 kV RIN bushing in a liquid nitrogen cryostat at Izolyator plant

Test of a 220 kV RIN bushing in a liquid nitrogen cryostat at Izolyator plant

In the same year, Izolyator ran tests to determine the operability of a 220 kV SFCL by SuperOx filled with liquid nitrogen. The tests of the device, equipped with Izolyator high-voltage bushings, completed successfully.

Also, the specialists of the Izolyator plant took part in the acceptance tests of the first phase of SFCL at the largest international testing center — Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) in South Korea.

Tests of the first phase of superconducting fault current limiter SuperOx at the Korean Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI)

Tests of the first phase of superconducting fault current limiter SuperOx at the Korean Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI)

The SFCL, commissioned for the first time in the Russian energy sector, became a milestone achievement in the fruitful collaboration of SuperOx and Izolyator enterprises.

220 kV Izolyator RIN bushings on a superconducting fault current limiter SuperOx, installed on the electric substation Mnevniki in Moscow

220 kV Izolyator RIN bushings on a superconducting fault current limiter SuperOx, installed on the electric substation Mnevniki in Moscow

The project lays the groundwork for the development of superconducting energy in Russia.

Based on materials of the official website of the mayor of Moscow, United Energy Company, SuperOx Company, Electric Power. Transmission and Distribution Journal, TV Center.