T&D World Magazine

Zenergy Power Plc Secures First Commercial Sale of Fault Current Limiter

Zenergy Power has announced the receipt of the first commercial order for a superconductor Fault Current Limiter. Placed by UK-based Applied Superconductor Limited, the order is for the purchase of a medium-voltage unit that is scheduled for installation into the distribution network of CE Electric UK in the second half of this year.

As demonstrated by the Group’s work with grid operators in the United States, the superconductor FCL provides a means of ensuring that the flow of electricity under fault conditions remains within the capacity of existing network equipment and so brings about improvements in the quality and reliability of power supply. Evaluations conducted by the Group and grid operators have also shown that the superconductor FCL can play a significant role in reducing grid expenditure by providing a lower-cost alternative to replacing network equipment when upgrading grid capacity to safely cope with growing prospective fault currents.

Further to extending the lifetime and usefulness of grid equipment, Zenergy Power’s FCL is also expected to play an important role in readying electricity grids for the integration of renewable energy generators (including offshore wind power) that are often remotely located, connected directly to localized distribution networks and intermittent in their power delivery.

With respect to the widely acknowledged requirement for unprecedented levels of grid investment in both Western Europe and the United States, the Board is particularly pleased to note that following this landmark order Zenergy Power is now on course to have installed product in both of these geographical markets. Note that on March 9, 2009 Zenergy Power announced that Southern California Edison had installed Zenergy Power’s superconductor FCL into its distribution grid in southern California.

Of further significance, it is also noted that the purchase and installation of the FCL has been part-funded through OFGEM's Innovation Funding Incentive scheme. The IFI scheme actively supports the efforts of all the UK’s grid operators in addressing the issues relating to the integration of renewable energy sources into the UK electrical grid system. Detailed market analysis conducted by Applied Superconductor has already shown the existence of a substantial commercial market for the Group’s distribution level FCL within the United Kingdom.

CE Electric UK delivers electricity to 3.8 million customers in the North East of England, Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire through a distribution network consisting of more than 31,000 substations, around 29,000 km of overhead line and 62,000 km of underground cable. Within the UK there are just nine companies responsible for the operation and maintenance of all distribution networks.

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