Superconductive materials are becoming more of a viable option to improve energy transition, thanks to their lack of electrical resistivity and other properties like the ability to carry bigger currents and to control large magnetic fields. These properties make High Temperature Superconductive (HTS) materials, those that can achieve superconductivity above the temperature of liquid nitrogen, extremely attractive for the field of energy transmission, distribution and storage, which could be made more compact and efficient with disruptive technologies.
In order to make this a reality, four researchers from the Superconducting Materials and Large Scale Nanostructures (SUMAN) group (Xavier Granados (coordinator), Xavier Obradors, Teresa Puig and Joffre Gutierrez) have joined a project funded by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) organization.
This not-for-profit develops activities called COST Actions that have the main goal of allowing an open space for researchers in Europe (as well as other collaborating countries) to network. The funding for these activities comes from the private sector and policymakers as well as civil society, and function as a support for national research funds, focusing more on collaborative actions like workshops, training schools or short-term scientific missions. The selected actions have a bottom-up point of view, and are interdisciplinar and inclusive in nature, with a focus on supporting countries that have less infrastructure when it comes to research.
The HiSCALE COST Action
The “HighTemperature SuperConductivity for AcceLerating the Energy Transition” (HiSCALE) CA19108 project intends to create a network that develops activities in order to face the major challenges that are stopping the implementation of HTS. Some of these challenges include:
- The development of an understanding of the underlying physics necessary to upscale the technology.
- The creation of distributed and high-performance computing techniques that allows for the creation of disruptive modelling approaches that help break down the multiphysical problems expected in HTS materials.
- Research into the applications and market considerations of the technology through the use of the mentioned modelling techniques that have the final user in mind, looking for a sound business model and alignment with current regulations.
- Evaluation and demonstration of the full life of the technology with economic and environmental considerations in focus. Amongst other factors, the creation of a more environmentally friendly electricity market is a key factor in the Clean energy for all Europeans package, which aims to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2050, so the full consideration of this technology’s impact is fundamental.
The project is coordinated by Joao Pina, from the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and will take 4 years to complete (October 2020 to October 2024) with the collaboration of 14 countries that will be working together in order to help make electrical transition more economic and efficient.
Cover image: HI-SCALE EU Cost Banner