Prospects for the use of high-T-c superconductors in fusion magnets and options for their test in SULTAN
In the last few years, the critical current densities of long commercially available REBa2Cu3O7-x (RE-123, where RE represents Y or a rare earth element) coated conductors have reached values of 250 A/cm-width at 77K and zero applied field. Even higher values of 600 A/cm-w (77 K, B = 0) have been demonstrated in shorter lengths. The attractive features of the use of these high-T-c superconductors (HTS) are operation temperatures above 20K and/or magnetic fields higher than those envisaged for the ITER TF coils. Possible operation conditions for HTS fusion magnets have been studied taking into consideration the possible further improvements of RE-123 coated conductors. Investigations of stability and quench behavior indicate that stability is not a problem, whereas quench detection and protection need attention. Because of the high currents necessary for fusion magnets, many tapes need to be assembled into a transposed conductor. The qualification of HTS conductors for fusion magnets would require their test at magnetic fields of 11 land currents well above 10 kA. The possibilities to test straight HIS conductor samples in SULTAN have been considered. For a test at 4.5 K, only the development of a low resistance joint between the HTS conductor under test and the NbTi transformer of SULTAN would be necessary. Tests up to 20K would require that the HTS sample is connected with the NbTi transformer by a conduction-cooled HTS bus bar of large thermal resistance similar to the HIS module of a current lead. HIS conductor tests at temperatures around 50K would be possible with modified cryogenics. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.