Applied superconductivity will soon celebrate its 60 years. It was linked to the emergence of conductors (Nb3Sn then NbTi) able to carry large currents under high fields. NbTi and Nb3Sn still are the basic superconductors for applied superconductivity with well-established markets such as MRI. 30 years ago the first superconductor whose critical temperature breaks the liquid nitrogen barrier was discovered. The « Superconductivity revolution » was announced, but it did not really take place. On the other hand considerable works have been carried out about the strongly complex high Tc superconductors, which have so reached now a pre-industrial stage.
In parallel the indispensable sustainable development among other things required new technologies and the high Tc superconductors are outstanding enablers. These loss free conductors are natural companions for sustainability. Renewable energies face several challenges such as very large wind turbines or the transport of huge energies over long distances. Superconducting wind generators, superconducting cables and superconducting fault current limiters offer for example new functions or possibilities in terms of footprint and weight performances breaking the conventional limits. The “Superconductivity revolution” is on track. The review of some works will be a basis for exploring the future of superconducting power applications. Among the projects, FASTGRID will be highlighted.
Hosted by Xavier Obradors, from the SUMAN Group