Superconducting links

Superconducting power links for DC railways electrical infrastructures.

SUPRASYS develops power links with unbeatable current transport capacity in a very reduced space, by means of superconducting technology.

Superconducting link vs. Resistive equivalent

The cross-sectional area occupied by a superconducting link is much smaller than that of a conventional resistive.comparativa

3 applications demanding a substantial improvement of the present performance

Battery-charging point and distributed renewable generation sources

The existing infrastructure for feeding DC catenaries can be adapted for electrical vehicles fast charging. Furthermore, the new distributed renewable generation sources, especially the PV solar, can supply energy to the railway electrical grid. In the urban environment, the challenge is to connect the traction substations with the battery-charging point of the photovoltaic distributed generation, avoiding voltage drops in the available space. With the superconducting links, the advantages of high voltage (reduced losses and voltage drop) can be obtained with low voltage and DC.
For example, the system Ferrolinera, patented by the Spanish railway infrastructure operator ADIF, consists in connect the electrical vehicle to the DC railway electrical grid. It has the limitation that the charging point must be in the nearby of the traction substation.
By using superconducting links the charging point range can be extended to longer distances.

Ferrolinera suprasys

Electrical cable repowers in the urban environment

The frequency and power of trains in the large urban stations are in constant increase. Thus, the substation power must be increased continuously and the connections, bars or feeders become a system bottleneck by power, voltage drop or heating.
Superconducting links transmit more power in less space, reducing to the minimum the voltage drops without heating.

Connection of traction substations

Conexión subestaciones
The simplest case is a superconducting link connecting two neighbouring substations with a single rectifier. Because the superconductors have not DC electrical resistance, it is possible to supply the bars of a substation from a neighbouring rectifier.
The main advantages of superconducting links are to promote the use of regenerative braking, to promote energy saving to the electrical network and to reduce the substation and high voltage connections number.

This project, reference numbre SNEO-20191286, has been funded by CDTI – Centro de Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial – through the program Neotec year 2019.