Power System Application

We have been studying various superconducting devices for power system applications. These include:

   1) Using superconducting magnetic energy storage systems and its hybridization with batteries for renewable energy integration, economic study of SMES system in comparison with other types of energy storage systems;

   2) Study of superconducting cables for UK’s power systems and also for offshore HVDC links, cost benefit analysis of superconducting cables for application at different locations and voltage levels;

   3) Study of combining SMES with superconducting fault current limiters for renewable energy integration and also electric transportation. 


Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship  (PI: Prof Weijia Yuan): this is a five-year project focusing on designing and developing SMES-battery energy storage systems. As a result of the project, a laboratory prototype of SMES-battery emulator has been developed and demonstrated for voltage sag compensation. Methodology for quantifying battery life extension using SMES-battery hybrid systems has been developed and different application scenarios have been studied. Related papers are listed below:

  • A Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage-Emulator/Battery Supported Dynamic Voltage Restorer

A. M. Gee, F. Robinson and W. Yuan

The SMES/battery hybrid dynamic voltage restorer can support both short-term high-power voltage sags and long-term undervoltages with significantly reduced superconducting material cost compared with an SMES-based system.

  • Design and test of a new droop control algorithm for a SMES/battery hybrid energy storage system

J. Li, Q. Yang, F. Robinson, F. Liang, M. Zhang, and W. Yuan

A battery lifetime model which takes into account both battery life cycles and discharge current rate is used to estimate battery lifetime extension. A lifetime increase of 26% is obtained for the HESS design example investigated.

  • Analysis of a new design of the hybrid energy storage system used in the residential m-CHP systems

J. Li, X. Wang, Z. Zhang, S. L. Blond, Q. Yang, M. Zhang and W. Yuan

This paper addresses this problem by hybridising the lead-acid battery storage with superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) to form a hybrid energy storage system (HESS) that is coordinated by a novel sizing based droop control method.


Ofgem Network Innovation Allowance Award – Feasibility study of using superconducting cables in UK distribution network  (PI: Prof Weijia Yuan): this is a one-year project focusing on economic and feasibility analysis of using superconducting cables for UK’s distribution networks. It is believed to be one of the first projects to study superconducting cable’s potential application in UK’s network. As a result we have produced a report for Ofgem and Western Power Distribution to analyse superconducting cables’ advantages and adoption roadmap for UK’s distribution network. The report and selected paper can be found below:

  • Report written for Western Power Distribution

South West, South Wales, West Midlands and East Midlands

Superconducting cables network feasibility study

  • Economic Feasibility Study of Using High-Temperature Superconducting Cables in U.K.'s Electrical Distribution Networks

W. Yuan, S. Venuturumilli, Z. Zhang, Y. Mavrocostanti and M. Zhang

This paper details the key outputs of the U.K.'s first feasibility study of implementing the high-temperature superconducting (HTS) cables in electricity distribution networks to solve capacity issues.


Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Supernode – Study of superconducting cables for offshore HVDC links  (PI: Prof Weijia Yuan): these include multiple projects spanning three years studying superconducting cable for offshore HVDC links. As a result , this project has developed an electrical and thermal model of long distance HTS cables for offshore wind farm connections. It also has studied the interaction of onshore AC network and large offshore DC network based on HTS cables. Cost benefit analysis have been conducted for such networks. Selected paper can be found below:

  • DC Fault Study of a Point-to-Point HVDC System Integrating Offshore Wind Farm using High-Temperature Superconductor DC Cables

X. Wang, W. Yuan, L. Xu, E. Hodge, J. Fitzgerald, P. McKeever and K. Bell

This paper presents a feasibility study of an offshore wind farm (OWF) HVDC integration system using high-temperature superconductor (HTS) DC cables.


EPSRC Research Grant – Study of superconducting coils as a hybrid energy storage systems  (PI: Prof Weijia Yuan): this is a two-year project focusing on designing and developing superconducting coils with an aim to work in hybrid energy storage systems. As a result of the project, methodology for designing such superconducting coils have been developed. Simulation study of using SMES-battery systems for wind wave energy integration has been carried out. Related papers include: 

  • Design and Simulation of SMES System Using YBCO Tapes for Direct Drive Wave Energy Converters

H. Zhang, Z. Nie, X. Xiao, R. Aggarwal, Q. Kang, M. Ainslie, J. Zhu, T. Coombs, and W. Yuan

The control circuit was presented and the simulation result has shown that the fluctuated power from DDLWEC was smoothed out at the DC link by the hybrid energy storage system.

  • Designing and Testing Composite Energy Storage Systems for Regulating the Outputs of Linear Wave Energy Converters

Z. Nie, X. Xiao, P. Hiralal, X. Huang, R. McMahon, M. Zhang and W. Yuan

In this paper, both the experimental and simulation results have demonstrated that the proposed control method for the composite energy storage system is capable of making full use of the relative advantages of super capacitors and batteries, allowing them to cover the drawbacks for each other.

  • SMES-Battery Energy Storage System for Conditioning Outputs From Direct Drive Linear Wave Energy Converters

Z. Nie, X. Xiao, Q. Kang, R. Aggarwal, H. Zhang and W. Yuan

A 60 kJ SMES is designed to work in conjunction with batteries as a hybrid energy storage system for conditioning the outputs from direct drive linear wave energy converters (DDLWEC).


British Council Institutional Links – Multifunctioning superconducting coils for wind energy integration  (PI: Prof Weijia Yuan): this is a two-year project focusing on designing and developing multifunctioning superconducting coils as both energy storage systems and fault current limiter for wind farm integration. Its application has also been extended to electric aircraft’s propulsion network. Related papers include: 

  • Utilising SMES-FCL to improve the transient behaviour of a doubly fed induction generator DC wind system

M. Elshiekh, A. Elwakeel, S. Venuturumilli, H. Alafnan, X. Pei, M. Zhang and W. Yuan

A novel power electronics circuit is used to connect the superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) to a DC system based on a doubly fed induction generator wind turbine. 

  • Application of SMES-FCL in Electric Aircraft for Stability Improvement

H. Alafnan, M. Elshiekh, X. Pei, S. Altouq, S. M. Fazeli, Q. Sun, M. Zhang and W. Yuan

This paper proposes and explores an improved power system architecture for use in EA, based on the N3-X concept.

  • New Technique for Using SMES to Limit Fault Currents in Wind Farm Power Systems

M. E. Elshiekh, D. A. Mansour, M. Zhang, W. Yuan, H. Wang and M. Xie

This paper introduces a new scheme, which uses a multifunctional superconducting device that can be used as an energy storage and as a fault current limiter.

  • Effectiveness of Superconducting Fault Current Limiting Transformers in Power Systems

M. Elshiekh et al.

This paper presents the superconducting fault current limiting transformer (SFCLT) as a superior alternative to normal power transformers.

  • Stability Improvement of DC Power Systems in an All-Electric Ship Using Hybrid SMES/Battery

H. Alafnan, M. Zhang, W. Yuan, J. Zhu, J. Li, M. Elshiekh and X. Li

In order to reduce the effects of system load fluctuations on system efficiency, and to maintain the bus voltage, we propose a hybrid energy storage system (HESS) for use in AESs.