Fault Current Limiting (FCL) Distribution Cable

Period of Performance: 07/29/2016 - 01/25/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

American Superconductor Corp.
64 Jackson Road Array
Devens, MA 01434
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Todays Navy continues to see increased demand for more power both on and off the ship. This need is largely driven by the continued development of high power density advanced weapons systems and sensors. Continued space and weight limitations for these ship applications will drive the need for new power solutions to be light and compact, easing installation on new ships and enabling upgrades on existing ones. Increased power generation and distribution will also result in the potential for increased fault currents. The proper and safe management of fault currents will be a necessary aspect of the ships electrical grid design. Like the power distribution solutions themselves, fault current limiting (FCL) devices will need to be lightweight, compact and straightforward to implement into the ships electrical network. Superconducting power cables are the ideal solution for large current DC power transmission. Additionally, Superconductors inherently limit currents in excess of their critical current without the complexities and time delay of detection. AMSC has exploited this characteristic to create HTS FCL cables for land based applications. This effort focuses on the application of land based HTS FCL power cable designs to the unique challenges presented by implementation on a US Navy combatant.