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Furukawa Runs Record Voltage Through Superconducting Power Cable

Furukawa Electric Co., a Japanese maker of wires and metal products, ran a record number of volts through a superconducting cable as it seeks to reduce transmission losses.

The company and its partners conducted tests on a 30-meter (98-foot) cable at 275 kilovolts, according to a joint statement today from Tokyo-based Furukawa, the International Superconductivity Technology Center and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization. The tests took place at Furukawa’s plant in Shenyang, China, last month.

Superconductivity occurs when metals or alloys are cooled to low temperatures, allowing electricity to flow with zero resistance. Some conductors can reduce transmission loss by as much as 77 percent compared with conventional copper or aluminum cables, Furukawa said on its website.

Furukawa’s cable, developed with the help of Fujikura Ltd., SWCC Showa Cable Systems Co. and ISTEC, handled the highest voltage achieved on superconducting wires in the world, according to the statement. Development of superconductivity has been mainly centered on 66-kilovolt cables.

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