Completion of the Commissioning of the EDIPO Test Facility
The main coils of the new European DIPOle (EDIPO) test facility, which is able to provide a background magnetic field up to 12.35 T, were commissioned at the Center for Research in Plasma Physics in July 2013. A field homogeneity of +/-1% was achieved over a 900-mm length, as compared to SULTAN's 10.9 T over 425 mm. To complete the commissioning of the test facility, the new superconducting transformer has been operated in 2015, and a high-current NbTi sample, which was earlier tested in the SULTAN test facility, has been tested in EDIPO under the same conditions as in SULTAN to benchmark the results. During the initial commissioning of the 100-kA transformer in 2013, the primary coil was found to be insufficiently cooled due to the debonding of the primary winding from its former that also served as the liquid helium cryostat. The NbTi primary coil was therefore modified to be in direct contact with liquid helium. At the next attempt of commissioning, in March 2014, a mechanical failure due to the imperfect alignment of the primary and secondary windings caused major damage. A replacement primary coil, which was wound in Summer 2014, was used in the third commissioning campaign in November 2014, but it failed due to the poor impregnation of the NbTi winding. Eventually, the original primary winding was repaired and commissioned in April 2015. The commissioning included a calibration of the current meter for the secondary winding and the high-current test, i.e., up to 95 kA at various background fields, of the “Trasek” conductor sample, which is a rectangular cable-in-conduit conductor made of 324 SnAg-coated NbTi strands. An excellent agreement was found between the results obtained from the two facilities. The sample holder unit is also equipped with a high-temperature superconducting (HTS) adapter and a counterflow heat exchanger to allow testing in EDIPO of HTS high-current samples over a broad range of operating temperatures, from 4.5 up to 50 K.