High Tech Makeover in Store for Nation’s Power Transmission Lines

The nation\'s power transmission lines are out of date and lose a significant amount of energy. Scientists working at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven Laboratory are all abuzz over a new bit of evidence that could help the U.S. save a good chunk of the energy that is currently lost through power transmission lines.  The DOE estimates that the nation’s antiquated transmission and distribution systems together were losing about 9.5% as of 2001, and things haven’t gotten any better since then.

The Brookhaven breakthrough involved evidence that electronic liquid crystal states can exist within a high temperature superconductor.  In practical terms, that means that it may be practical to develop power lines that lose no power at all.  There’s a long way to go before the rubber hits the road on this one, though.  The next step is to see if the material maintains its capabilities in real conditions that can be applied to the Smart Grid of the future.

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