American Superconductor Ships First SMES Product to Europe

March 11, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

American Superconductor Corp. (Westborough, MA) announced the shipment of its first Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) product to Europe. The unit was sold to Austrian utility STEWEAG, which ordered the unit in January 1999. The SMES unit is expected to eliminate 100 percent of these power quality problems. Housed in a portable 48-foot trailer, the American Superconductor SMES product line uses an energy storage electromagnet made with low-temperature superconductor wire. SMES units use power electronics to sense momentary electrical power disturbances and instantly provide supplemental power to eliminate the disturbance.The SMES will be installed in April at Austria Druckguss, an aluminum foundry in Gleisdorf, Austria. The foundry has been experiencing a significant number of plant shut downs owing to momentary sags in electrical voltage caused primarily by lightning storms. "The Power Quality SMES unit is being shipped today from Baltimore to arrive in Austria later this month and to be on-line at the customer's site in April," stated Greg Yurek, American Superconductor President and CEO. "I am delighted that our team was able to turn this order around very quickly to meet STEWEAG's need to have the unit in place in time to prevent power outages during the upcoming lightning storm season in Austria.