Superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) for power applications

Authors: Lamboo, S.

Superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) systems store electricity in a magnetic field generated by superconducting magnets working at cryogenic temperature (IEA ETSAP & IRENA, 2012).

Key features of SMES include relatively high power density, fast response time, very quick full discharge time, depth of discharge, high cycle efficiency and long lifetime (Luo et al., 2015). The main drawbacks are its high capital cost and high daily self-discharge rates (Luo et al., 2015).

Existing SMES projects can provide high power for short periods of time, making them suitable for voltage and power quality applications (Chen et al., 2009). High energy capacity (100 MWh+) SMES could become available in the next decade (Luo et al., 2015), but these are not considered in the current factsheet.