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Thursday, April 1, 2010

transformation of the Powergrid

Indian-American engineer to transform U.S. power grid
Wednesday,31 March 2010, 14:46 hrs
Washington: Although the U.S. power industry is one of the greatest engineering marvels, ageing technology and an increase in demand are creating problems for the power grid that needs fixing. Now, an Indian-American engineer is set to transform the way power is generated.

Venkat Selvamanickam, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston, is developing a technology with high temperature superconducting wires that is revolutionising the way power is generated, transported and used.

It is estimated that high-temperature superconducting wires could eliminate 131 million tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and offset the emission of the equivalent of 40 conventional power-generating plants.

"The country's electric transmission grid currently consists of about 160,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, with forecasters predicting an additional 12,900 miles needed over the next five years to meet increasing demand," said Selvamanickam.

"Superconducting power cables can transmit up to 10 times more power than traditional copper cables without the significant losses of traditional cables and are considered environmentally friendly," he added.

"The goal of my research is to modernise the power grid with high temperature superconducting wires to improve efficiency and reliability."

"Almost anything in the power grid -- cables, transformers, motors, generators -- can be more efficient if you use high temperature superconducting wires."

"Superconducting fault current limiters can enable uninterrupted power transmission when conventional circuits will otherwise succumb to outages in events such as lightning storms," said Selvamanickam, who did his B.E. (Honours) from Regional Engineering college, Tiruchi, India.

The applications for superconducting wires range from advanced medical imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) to large-scale applications replacing existing copper wires with superconducting wires to raise reliability and cut costs.

"High temperature superconductivity has the potential to revolutionise the way we use electricity, just like the way fiber-optics revolutionised the way we communicate," he said.

"Our research pays immediate returns to the industry. It's not like something that may be useful 10 years down the line," Selvamanickam added.

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Reader's comments (11)
1: Hi Friends
it is encouraging news the article says it can be implemented immediately also there was a bloom box stuff that is still on ,what I can see irrespective of bloom box maturing interms of price and usage ,looks like prof Venkat Selvamanickam's proposal can be used straightaway as efficiency is the criteria during transmission of power
iam an optimist by nature ..
rama mohana rao anne
sydney australia
Posted by: rama mohana rao anne - 01 Apr, 2010
2: The article describes his "research". Has this been proven to work, because after the USA invests in this it "must" work. Has this been approved and been started already? If not then it's best we wait with the kudos.
Posted by: christie fox - 31 Mar, 2010
3:Hi Christie
i had checked out more info ,prof Venkat Selvamanickam is involved with superconductor for more than 18-19 years ,the comapny that the article talks about is superpower its webiste address is
Based on the information and prof Venkat Selvamanickam's patents(more than 30 patents issued ,21 patents pending in u.s , more than 60 international patents pending, ,his theisis(master's degree) and other papers that are published
are the most widely cited by others as a reference in Super Conductivity.Iam highly impressed and hopeful the days that Prof Venkat Selvamanickam's hard work will bear fruit and soon be commercialized as field trails are in progress as we speak,infact very close to commercialization ..
rama mohana rao anne replied to: christie fox
post - 01 Apr, 2010
4: well the idea is possible . because superconductor are which have 0 resistance .so that is why he meant all losses will be eliminated which occurs manly becoz of resistance in wires. BUt issue is creating superconudting wire need extreme low temprature and infact brcoz of this it was used in expensive materail. he must have discovered some way of creating cheap wires. And that i can say is revolution . kudoz.
manish replied to: rama mohana rao anne
post - 01 Apr, 2010
5: Further details of Prof. Selva's work are available from : al-documents
Posted by: R K S - 31 Mar, 2010
6: Thanks to Harry and Varun for the super encouragements. We need people like you.
Posted by: Any One - 31 Mar, 2010
7: You sound a little sarcastic, unless I'm misreading! Prof Selva's work is highly impressive, and one hopes that it is successful. So far, it seems untested in real conditions. That's all I'm saying. I'll be the first to applaud when it is actually used in the power grid. All the best!
Varun Shekhar replied to: Any One
post - 31 Mar, 2010
8: Nice, but sorry SiliconIndia, I do not share your enthusiasm. There are no known room-temp superconductors till date. For that matter, even finding a superconductor at 0 deg celsius (273.15 deg K)is a big challenge. If Dr. Selvamanickam's research has indeed found one, mentioning the material and appropriate references would be great.
Posted by: Harry - 31 Mar, 2010
9:Another more detailed article on the same topic from Scientia Magazine at.... -modernizes-us-power-grid.html

"High temperature superconductivity defines certain materials like metals and ceramics that lose electrical resistance when cooled by liquid nitrogen, an inexpensive industrial refrigerant that costs less than a bottle of water, a major development in the price point for superconductivity for wide commercial use."
Dev Devendra ACMA PMP replied to: Harry
post - 31 Mar, 2010
10:Please see attached link for more details....

SuperPower and University of Houston Sign High Temperature Superconducting Wire License Agreements: icles/March2010/033010SuperPowerandUHSignAgre ement.php

March 30, 2010 - Houston - The University of Houston (UH) executed two license agreements with SuperPower, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Philips Electronics. One agreement covers the intellectual property on second generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire that is developed under the Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) previously executed between the two parties. This sponsored research program is led by Venkat Selvamanickam, M.D. Anderson chair professor of mechanical engineering and the director of the Applied Research Hub of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston (TCSUH). The second agreement covers the fundamental composition of matter patent of high temperature superconductor that was discovered by Paul Chu in 1987 at the University of Houston.
Dev Devendra ACMA PMP replied to: Harry
post - 31 Mar, 2010
11: Very nice, but I suppose the issue is how far away is this technology from actually being implemented?
Posted by: Varun Shekhar - 31 Mar, 2010
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