KEPCO President Kim Jong-kap (4th from left) and LS Cable & System President Myung Roe-hyun (3rd from left) cut the ribbon in a ceremony at an electricity substation in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province on Nov. 5, 2019. [Photo provided by LS Cable & System Ltd.]
South Korea’s leading cable maker LS Cable & Systems Ltd. (LS C&S) together with state-run utility company Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) has succeeded in commercializing superconducting cable technology for the first time in the world, a move that would allow it to gain the upper hand in the related market set to grow rapidly.
LS C&S and KEPCO announced Tuesday that they launched a commercial service of superconducting cable in a 1-kimometer section in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province.
There are five companies in the world, including LS C&S from Korea and rivals from the U.S., Europe and Japan, that have acquired superconducting cable technology so far, but the Korean company is the first to succeed in commercialization. The International Energy Agency in its white paper published last month recorded Korea as the world’s first country to have superconducting cable technology commercialized. LS C&S in collaboration with KEPCO had run test operation since July.
Superconducting cable as the next-generation electrical cable can send up to 10 times more power at a lower voltage compared to conventional copper cables, thanks to a phenomenon called superconductivity wherein electrical resistance vanishes at 196 degrees Celsius (384.8 degrees Fahrenheit) below zero.
[Photo by LS Cable & System Ltd.]
With the application of the cables, it is also possible to significantly reduce the size of power substations, up to one-tenth of conventional substations, as they do not require separate transformers.
The global superconducting cable market is estimated to grow to over 1 trillion won ($863 million) by 2023, according to industry experts.
“The commercialization of superconducting cables will help Korea take the lead in global power market,” said Myung Roe-hyun, LS C&S chief executive officer. “The company together with KEPCO will seek aggressive expansion into the global market.”
By Song Gwang-sup and Cho Jeehyun
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