Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Transformer type under construction at Canterbury

New transformer type under construction at Canterbury

New Zealand's first high temperature superconducting transformer (HTST) is now being assembled at the University of Canterbury.

The device is the result of collaboration between the University and Meridian Energy Ltd. It uses ceramic-based superconducting material immersed in liquid nitrogen and is designed to replace traditional oil-filled machines, with weight and transport advantages.

The superconductor follows on from the University's development of a resonating high voltage transformer (RHV Transformer) for use in testing large power generators. The transformer needed to be portable enough to be moved around the country for testing at various power stations. It has been extensively used at Manapouri underground power station.

"What is exciting about this technology is that it offers significant weight, and therefore transportation, advantages over commercially available units," said Professor Pat Bodger who heads the development team. The total crated weight of the RHV Transformer is under half a tonne, compared with more than 6.5 tonnes for other commercial models.

"Moreover, the construction does not require the use of liquid dielectric oil which significantly reduces air-freight issues and costs, as well as environmental and safety risks" he added.

A Christchurch company, CanterburyTX, has been formed to develop the technology further, while local companies, Viva and PB Power (NZ) Ltd, are supplying electrical and mechanical engineering expertise. The technology is jointly owned by Canterprise Ltd, the inventors (Professor Bodger, Dr Wade Enright, Matthew O'Neill and Rick Liew), and Meridian Energy.

The HTST will undergo its initial performance testing during March 2004.

"The global power transformer market is worth billions of dollars," Professor Bodger said. "Following the completion of the first transformer, the objective is to begin constructing a superconducting power transformer that can be connected to the distribution network, in the second half of 2004."

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

Negotiations Begin: Equal Conditions For Men & Women In Professional Football

The trade union representing New Zealand's professional footballers has initiated bargaining for an agreement securing equal terms and conditions for men and women. If negotiated, it will be the first agreement of its kind in the world. More>>


New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Conflict & Resistance - Ria Hall's Rules of Engagement

From the aftermath of war through colonisation to her own personal convictions, Hall's new CD addresses current issues and social problems on multiple levels, confirming her position as a polemical and preeminent voice on the indigenous NZ music scene. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland