Press Release Back Number(2007)

Concerning the Start of the Verification Tests of the SMES (Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage) For the Electric Power System Control
- For the Realization of Quality Power Supply -

June 15, 2007
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.

NEDO(*1) and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., will start from today the verification tests for the practical implementation of the SMES for the electric power systems control for the "Superconducting Magnetic Electric Power Network Control Technical Development" project(*2).

The customarily utilized capacity must be the same as the generated capacity since it is not possible to store electricity. In the event that this balance collapses, it is desirable to have a stable and high quality power supply, since the voltage and frequency will become unstable (reduced quality).

The SMES for the electric power systems control commencing this time verification tests has the merit of making it possible to carry out repeated and in an efficient manner quick power charging and discharging, utilizing superconductive coil, making it possible to store electric power. It is possible to supply customers with high quality electric power by controlling the variation of voltage and frequency.

We have established a SMES system of 10,000 kW output-capacity with the cooperation of the honorable Furukawa Nikko Power Generation Inc., at Hosoo Power Plant (Hosoomachi, Nikko-shi, Tochigi-ken) for the verification test starting from today, and we are verifying the credibility of the SMES.(Refer to the attached sheet for the details)

< Content of the Verification >

  1. 1) The impact on the endurance/ system stability based on repeated charge/ discharge of electric power.
  2. 2) The control responsiveness and operating characteristics at the time of voltage/ frequency variation of the electric power network has materialized.
  3. 3) The reliability of the system

(*1) Abbreviation for "New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization"

(*2) The present project has been commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Resources and Energy Agency, as a part of the electric power technology program to NEDO, which has commissioned it to Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc., and International Superconductivity Technology Center that are implementing the project.

< Reference >

Outline of the Superconducting Magnetic Electric Power
Network Control Technical Development

1. An Example of the composition of the SMES (Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage) for Electric Power System

• What is superconductivity?

* Matters will resist each time the flow of an electric current when an electric current flows through them.

This is called electrical resistance. Electric current passes through metals with small resistance, like copper and aluminum very well, but it cannot pass through plastics and paper that have a very high resistance. Superconductivity means a state where this electrical resistance does not exist and when specified chemical elements or chemical compounds are cooled, the electrical resistance dissipates abruptly, and the compounds develop a state of superconductivity.

• What is SMES (Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage)?

It is possible to store electric energy as a magnetic energy, even when the electric current is flowing into the coil of the superconductive cable, since the electric current generates continuously a uniform magnetic energy without attenuating.

2. Purpose of the development

It is feared that the quality and level of stability of the electric power network may deteriorate due to long distance power transmission from electric cables in distant regions owing to the advance of liberalization of the electric power supply, and based on the introduction of decentralize type power source in line with the environmental measures to preserve the earth. In addition, the call for a good quality and stable electric power supply not affected by voltage variation occurring instantaneously due to thunderbolts in line with the advance of Information Technology is increasing.

SMES can instantaneously repeatedly charge/discharge large quantities of electric power. This technology has excellent advantages that have never been seen in technologies until today, and this time we shall prove the performance of SMES for electrical systems control since it is an exceedingly promising equipment for controlling the electric power networks.

3. Verifying the Performance of SMES

We will not only carry out performance verification tests at the plant, but we will also carry out general performance verifications based on the verification of the impact on the system and endurance against repeated load charge by actually connecting it to the networks.

In addition, we shall carry out verification tests at Furukawa Nikko Power Generation Inc. Hosoo Power Plant (Hosoomachi, Nikko-shi, Tochigi-ken), which has a fluctuating load.

Drawing 3 A birds-eye view of the SMES Test Installations

Table 1 Major Specification of the SMES for the Electrical Systems Control
Item Specifications
Converter Installation Capacity 10,000kW
Superconductive Coil Storage Energy 19MJ
Superconductive Coil Conductor Classification (type) Type of Metal (NbTi)
Operating Temperature1 4.2K
Operating Current 1,350A
Operating Voltage 1.1kV
Maximum Magnetic Field 4.4T

4. Verification Items during the Verification Test

Division Test Item Verification Item
Basic Performance Test Basic performance of the SMES main body Cooling performance, start/stoppage, no-load current test, magnetic field leakage, conservation performance, current-carrying performance, interrupting performance, and efficiency and suchlike
Control Responsiveness Test Step response test, sinusoidal wave control responsiveness test
Failure Detection/
Monitoring Function
Verify the failure detection functions (Coil, current lead, converter and others)
System Impact Assessment Test Voltage variation, power factor, harmonics, flicker, imbalanceFrequency variation
Actual Load Response Test More than 20,000 times of actual operation based on actual variation input signal(1,000 kW- repeated approximately about 10 seconds)
Basic function of the refrigerating equipment Cooling performance, endurance performance test

5. Verification Test Schedules