High power superconductor cables take up much less space and conduct energy more efficiently, making them ideal for use in power grids.
They will also offer a more effective method for collecting energy from renewable sources like solar power and wind energy.
Superconducting wires can be used for energy storage and can enable devices which enhance grid stability. Boaz Almog and Mishael Azoulay working under Guy Deutscher, physicist at the Tel Aviv University have developed the superconductng cables, using fibres made of single sapphire crystals.
One of the things that make copper wires inefficient is overheating, Almog explains, according to a Tel Aviv statement.
Some of the energy that flows through the metal is cast off and wasted, causing the wires to heat up. But with superconductors, there is no resistance.
A self-contained cooling system, which requires a constant flow of liquid nitrogen, keeps the wire in its superconducting state.