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NZ scientists develop a superconducting transformer

9/6/2015 Phys.org

 New Zealand, Wellington: A transformer developed by the Robinson Research Institute, which is currently in factory testing in Christchurch, has successfully handled top current capacity of 1390 amps, and measurements show the energy losses were half that of a conventional transformer.

HTS transformers use superconducting wire instead of copper wire and liquid nitrogen for cooling and insulation instead of transformer oil, eliminating fire and environmental hazards, reports Phys.org.

The key to the transformers' success is a new type of HTS cable, designed and manufactured in New Zealand by GCS Ltd., called Roebel cable.

Wilson Transformer Company, based in Melbourne, contributed design and manufacturing expertise to the project and constructed the transformer's steel core.

"It's been exciting to be part of this development which has demonstrated the potential of superconducting transformers to deliver real value in transmission grids. We're looking forward to helping in further advancement," says Strategic Technology Officer Mohinder Pannu.

The transformer is undergoing further testing to mimic a real world loading profile for an extended period.

Source: Phys.org