Conference paper

3D Finite Element Simulations of strip lines of a YBCO/Au Fault Current Limiter

Geometrical aspects of the design of fault current limiters (FCL) have a great impact on their performance. Recently, the University of Geneva have presented optimized geometries obtained by splitting the FCL into many small dissipative lengths in order to distribute the power along the device. We have performed 3D finite element method (FEM) simulations for studying the behavior of strip lines of a YBCO/Au FCL in AC nominal use (sinusoidal current at industrial frequency) up to 3 Ic. Particular attention has been paid to the mesh, due to the very large involved aspect ratios. The numerical results show a concentration of the electric field in the sharp corners. This results in very large power dissipation, which has been experimentally confirmed by wafer cracks during over-Ic tests. A new geometry, taking into account the length of the connecting path and the corner optimization, has been proposed. Finally, simulations coupling electromagnetic and thermal equations show the behavior of the device when a default occurs on the electrical network. This work is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation through the National Center of Competence in Research “Materials with Novel Electronic Properties – MaNEP”

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