Superconducting materials can solve power loss problem in electricity towers

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Washington, March 21 (ANI): In a new research, it has been suggested that superconducting materials can solve the problem of the power lost due to electrical resistance in steel lattice towers.

Conventional aluminum or copper power lines have a certain amount of natural resistance to the flow of electricity, so some energy is lost as heat during transmission.

About 7 to 10 percent of the power put on the US grid is wasted due to electrical resistance.

That may not sound like much, but it's enough juice to run 14 cities the size of New York.

According to a report in National Geographic News, experts and entrepreneurs are looking at the potential of superconducting materials, which would allow power to zip along for miles with zero electrical resistance.

But, there's a catch.

The super-cables would have to be super-chilled - kept at a temperature of about -350 degrees Fahrenheit (-212 degrees Celsius) - in order to work their magic.

Scientists at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an electric industry-funded nonprofit focused on technology, said in a new report that a superconducting cable system could be ready for commercial development within a decade.

Moreover, they said it's an important technology to consider, given the challenge of greater reliance on renewable energy.

Areas with great potential for wind and solar power are often in remote regions far from population centers.

Super-chilled wires could efficiently shuttle thousands of megawatts of electricity from distant sites to cities, according to the EPRI report.

"The reason the superconductor (system) is beautiful is it likes big," explained Steven Eckroad, a co-author of the report. "It likes high power," he said.

Another advantage of such a system is it would be buried underground.

Proponents say that out-of-sight transmission projects would face less opposition than the traditional power towers. (ANI)

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