In fact, transporting electricity with superconductor materials represents important benefits for the environment, since this will contribute to the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions even if there is an increase in both the global population and the use of energy, especially in developing countries. The use of superconductor energy systems could easily reduce primary energy consumption by 10-15%, with no decrease in user consumption (final energy). This is due to the fact that 60% of the energy presently produced is wasted, which demonstrates that there is yet much to do to improve on energy efficiency. It must be taken into account that for each Gigawatt hour (GWh) of electrical energy saved, 160 tonnes of carbon oxide (COx) and one tonne of nitrogen oxide (NOx) are not emitted. Thus if Catalonia, with a yearly energy consumption of approximately 40,000 GWh, implemented the superconductor technology throughout the country, it could reduce its yearly emissions of carbon oxide by 500,000 tonnes.
The technology based on superconductor materials also increases the security and reliability of network installations, given that these transformers are non-flammable and current restrictions would be easier to apply, which allows for a greater control of the network. The fire generated by the transformers in Barcelona, for example, was precisely the origin of the greatest problem related to the power outage that occurred this past July.
The project is coordinated by Xavier Obradors, researcher at the Institute of Material Science of Barcelona, located at the UAB Research Park. lvar Snchez, lecturer of the UAB Department of Physics, is the director
|Contact: lvar Snchez|
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona