The Korea Herald


LS Cable, KEPCO commercialize superconducting cables

By Yeo Jun-suk

Published : Nov. 5, 2019 - 16:02

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LS Cable & System and Korea Electric Power Corp. said Tuesday that they have for the first time in the world succeeded in commercializing superconducting cable technology thorough their joint projects.

The commercial service has been launched in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province -- in a 1-kilometer section between Heungdeok substation and Singal substation

Including LS Cable & System, five companies in Europe, Japan and the US have obtained superconducting cable technology so far, however the South Korean firm has raced ahead of them.

“The commercialization of superconducting cables will help Korea take the lead in the power industry,” LS Cable & System’s chief Myung Roe-hyun said. “We will continue to work with KEPCO to enter global markets.”

Compared to conventional copper cables, the new-generation cables can send up to 10 times more power at a lower voltage thanks to superconductivity -- a phenomenon in which the electric resistance of materials disappears at minus 196 degrees Celsius. 

The cables can also reduce the size of power substations dramatically -- up to one-tenth of conventional substations -- apart from reducing the costs incurred for installing and operating them, the company said.

According to LS Cable & System, one superconducting cable strand can provide performance equivalent to 10 strands of copper cables. The advanced capability can be applied for a new city construction project.

“If superconducting cables are widely commercialized and their production cost per unit goes down, we believe that the price gap with existing copper cables will narrow,” the company said.

LS Cable & System became the fourth company in the world to succeed in developing superconducting cables in 2004. In 2015, it succeeded in demonstrating its superconducting cable operation with 80-kilovolt-class direct current.