Research Information

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YAMAGUCHI Laboratory

Superconducting power transmission is one of the solutions for the energy problem in this century.

Global power grids based on superconducting power transmission system

By introducing the direct current (DC) superconducting wires with zero resistance into power transmission lines, we research and develop the power transmission system for reducing the power loss of transmission lines. Finally, we aim to construct global power grids to solve the energy problem of human being.

For the prevention of the global warming due to carbon dioxide gas and the exhaustion of fossil fuels, the introduction of the photovoltaic cell and wind power generation is rapidly installed into the power grid and developed in all over the world. Since the appropriate for the photovoltaic cell and wind power generation are located in the desert and the polar area, and it is far away from the population center, it is needed to use the long distance power transmission system with low loss. At present, 2000 km long distance power transmissions with DC are used in Russia and Europe and 5000km transmission line is under construction in China. Accordingly, it is promoted to develop an application for long distance power transmission with superconductors since the superconductivity is good at DC large current.

DC superconducting power transmission appropriate for long distance power transmission

Figure 1 shows an image that huge solar panels are installed into the Gobi Desert in the west of China having good sunshine condition, and the power transmissions are extended from China to Japan. The whole electric power consumptions of Japan, China and main countries in the world will be able to produced by the solar panels of about 70 km square, 100 km square and 250 km squares, respectively. They are shown as the red square (Japan), the green square (China) and the white square (major countries) in the map. It is suitable to use the DC superconducting power transmission because that the distance from Gobi Desert to Japan is about 5000 km.

Combinations with Sustainable energy and Nuclear power station

Since DC superconducting power transmission can store electric energy itself, it is suitable for combining with unstable energy resources such as solar panel and wind powers. The solar energy resources are the major energy for the human being, but we should pay attention to use the nuclear energy in this century. We have 450 nuclear power (NP) stations in the world in the present time, and will construct more 2,000 NP stations in this century. If we can connect the power grids of Japan, China and Europe as shown in Fig. 2, we can buy the electric power in night time area in cheap price, and send to the day time area in which the price of the electric power is high because of the nuclear power stations. This is a business model to make the global power grid, and we can save the NP stations in this century. Of course, we will be able to connect the electric power from the solar panel in the desert area. This scenario will reduce the effort to decommissioning of the old NP stations in the next century.

First experimental facility of DC superconducting power transmission in the world

Figure 3 shows the first experimental facility of DC superconducting power transmission in Chubu University in the world. The superconducting cable cooled by liquid nitrogen is in the double metal pipes with vacuum insulation. To date it has been understood from this research that the loss is extremely low compared with usual power transmission. Henceforward, the project for practical use is in progress.


Fig.1 This is an image of DC superconducting power transmission from Takamakan Desert etc. to Japan. The red, green and white squares shown regions that correspond to the area of solar panel to produce the whole electric powers of Japan, China, and the main countries in the world, respectively. The red solid circle shows the other natural energy source in China. Because of these estimations, the solar panel will be able to supply the whole energy for human being in the 22nd century.

Fig. 2 DC superconducting power transmission system connecting Europe with Japan through China and Russia. The cheap electricity in early morning and mid night area will be sent to the daytime area each other. This business model will enhance and contribute to the global peace because we must be connected deeply.

Fig. 3 20 meter DC superconducting power transmission experimental device in Chubu University. At present, the construction of 200 meter facility is under construction.

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