Anagrafe della ricerca

SCEPTELH - SuperConducting Energy Pipelines for the simultaneous Transfer of Electricity and Liquid Hydrogen: design and assessment of their potential role in boosting the decarbonization of the Italian industry

24 mesi (2025)
Responsabile scientifico:
Tipo di progetto:
Ricerca Nazionale - PRIN
Ente finanziatore:
Codice identificativo progetto:
Ruolo PoliTo:


The activity proposed here aims first at developing the conceptual design of a superconducting (SC) cable cooled by a flow of liquid hydrogen (LH2), for the combined transport of electricity and LH2 from the production sites to end-users. In fact, SC materials are capable of substituting resistive conductors in the power distribution, reducing electrodynamic losses and environmental impact. Their need for cooling at cryogenic temperature is typically met by liquid nitrogen or gaseous helium. However, the use of LH2 as the cryogen for such cables, when MgB2 is used as SC material, adds the distribution of LH2 to the benefits related to the use of SC cables. The conceptual design of a Superconducting Energy Pipeline (SCEP), combining SC cable with the LH2 cryogenic cooling, is carried out first developing a simulation tool capable to address the best SCEP layout based on the identification of proper operating parameters (voltage level, power, LH2 flow rate, length, etc). The robustness of the design is checked by detailed electric and thermal-hydraulic analysis, realized with state-of-the-art numerical tools developed by the proponents in the past twenty years. Figures of merit for the SCEP and its techno-economic characterization are the main outcome of the design activity. The proposal goes well beyond the mere SCEP conceptual design, addressing also the issue of the possible penetration of SCEPs, as resulting from the design phase, in the Italian energy system by means of a bottom-up technology-rich optimization model, under the assumption of partial equilibrium of competitive markets for the energy commodities. Two different categories of final end-users are considered for the SCEP. First, electric power and LH2 together can feed existing or new technologies in energy-intensive industrial sectors needing both electric energy (EE) and natural gas (NG), or directly hydrogen, assuming blending of NG and LH2. Second, the two commodities (EE and LH2) can split at the outlet of the SCEP to cover separate end-use demands. The possible contribution of SCEPs to the decarbonization of the Italian industrial sector and to the decrease of the dependence on NG is investigated through the definition and simulation of suitable scenarios constraining the CO2 emissions and NG availability to progressively lower levels. The analysis is based on the open-source TEMOA-Italy tool, recently developed and positively benchmarked against the TIMES-Italy model, used in turn by ENEA to support the Quarterly Analysis of the Italian Energy System. Eventually, based on the identification of the industrial processes that could benefit more from the availability of SCEP, the most suitable locations in Italy for the SCEP are identified, based on the planned availability of Renewable Energy Parks and on the presence nearby of industrial installations that, according to the TEMOA analysis, would become suitable end-users for the SCEP.

Strutture coinvolte



Parole chiave

Settori ERC

PE7_12 - Electrical energy production, distribution, application

Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (Sustainable Development Goals)

Obiettivo 9. Costruire un'infrastruttura resiliente e promuovere l'innovazione ed una industrializzazione equa, responsabile e sostenibile


Costo totale progetto: € 267.440,00
Contributo totale progetto: € 191.440,00
Costo totale PoliTo: € 150.299,00
Contributo PoliTo: € 111.099,00