Designing critical current dropout-tolerant high-temperature superconducting magnets

Richard Ibekwe


Tuesday, November 10, 2020



PSFC Student Seminars

Magnets composed of high-temperature superconductors (HTS), materials that can carry large electric currents without resistance, will be among the most important and expensive components in the next generation of fusion reactors, enabling higher-field, smaller and more robust reactor designs. Dropouts, regions of superconductors in which the maximum current that can be carried superconductively is significantly lower than it is in the bulk of the material, are the first locations at which current undergoes dissipation. This dissipation can lead to runaway heating and severe structural damage in low-temperature superconducting systems, but HTS systems may be more tolerant to dropouts because of their higher operating temperature margin, higher heat capacity and improved thermal and electrical redistribution properties. This talk will describe experiments to measure current flow, electric field and heat generation in HTS cables and magnets, identifying the physics, engineering and operational dependencies required to maximize dropout tolerance.

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