Introduction to Emerging SMES Technology into Energy Storage Systems and Smart Grid Applications

Abstract With the rapid development of clean and renewable energy technology, energy storage devices are more eagerly required. The applicable high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials achieved arouse the superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) devices having unique properties to play a substantial role. Superior characteristics have made the SMES technology attractive and a perspective option to practical applications broadly, especially for smart grids (SGs). SMES technology is described and verified including principle, circuit topology, control strategy, and device performance to form a comprehensive understanding of the emerging energy storage technology using the advanced HTS material and associated technology. SMES application is then introduced with the emphasis to develop relevant concepts to suit smart grids (SGs).

Keywords SMES 0 HTS 0 HTS inductor 0 Smart grid 0 Energy storage 0 Energy management 0 Power inductor charge 0 Power electronic device 0 Digital control 0 Power conditioning system 0 Bridge-type chopper


With the rapid development of modern and new technology industries, the ratio of load sensitivity to power quality is continually rising in proportion, which simply means that the modern society has the urgent need for a higher quality of power supply. On the contrary, the problems of electric power supply caused by the rush of reactive power, power system faults, and operating errors, etc., are becoming more and more serious to modern grids. Adequate action is necessary, such as to compensate reactive power and absorb active power using energy storage systems (ESSs). Energy storage devices and application techniques also play an important role to cooperate with modern green, clean, and renewable energy technology in various fields, which devices have different types and principles, from mechanical to chemical and simple structure to novel material.

High temperature superconducting (HTS) materials and technology have reached the stage for practical applications [111] and enabled a potential to realize a practical energy storage device, i.e., HTS superconducting magnetic energy storage—HTS SMES. SMES is in general able to offer fast reaction, high power density, high energy density, light weight, low loss, long life, and environment-friendly operation. Superior characteristics made the SMES attractive and a possible option to practical applications in various fields.

SMESs are introduced with the comparison to various energy storage techniques to identify the emerging technology. Principle, circuit topology, control strategy, device performance, and applications are included to form a comprehensive description and understanding of this emerging technology. The contents consequently include the following sections: (i) Comparisons of various energy storage techniques; (ii) Principal SMES circuits and control techniques; (iii) Experimental prototype and application characteristics; (iv) Development status of worldwide SMES devices; (v) SMES application topologies and performance evaluations in power grids; (vi) Prospective SMES applications in cooperation with electric power smart grids (SGs).

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