Heat transfer and recovery performance enhancement of metal and superconducting tapes under high current pulses for improving fault current limiting behavior of HTS transformers

Mohammad Yazdani-Asrami, Michael Staines, Gennady Sidorov, Alain Eicher

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High-temperature superconducting (HTS) transformer windings operate subcooled at atmospheric pressure to temperatures as low as 65 K, with minimal power dissipation from AC loss in normal operation. During short circuits, HTS transformers are subjected to transient heating by currents as large as 10 times the rated current for durations of up to 2 s. After isolating the fault, HTS transformers are required to cool back down to their base temperature while carrying the operating current. HTS transformer conductors are insulated, typically with wrapped self-adhesive polyimide tape, and windings consist of close-packed conductors wound on composite formers. In this paper, the heat transfer, transient thermal response, and recovery performance of brass-laminated coated conductor HTS wire as well as metallic conductors in liquid nitrogen (LN2) were measured at a range of temperatures from 77 K to 64 K and pressures from atmospheric to 0.14 bar in heating and cooling situations. Measurements were made on bare tapes, and on tapes wrapped with polyimide insulation tape and aramid paper as well as polymer-coated tapes with a range of coating thicknesses. Heat transfer from tapes mounted with one face in contact with a glass-epoxy composite cylindrical former was measured for comparison with free-standing tapes. Using conductors with solid polymer coatings of optimized thickness immersed in subcooled LN2 results in the highest heat transfer and fast recovery following heating to 300 K by a high current pulse. Compared to a bare tape in LN2 at ambient pressure at 77 K, the heat transfer in a coated tape in 65 K subcooled LN2 can be very significantly enhanced by up to a factor of 15, and recovery can be seven times faster.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095014
Number of pages18
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Issue number9
Early online date13 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2020


  • fault performance
  • heat transfer
  • high temperature superconductors
  • liquid nitrogen
  • recovery time
  • solid coating
  • short circuit current
  • subcooling
  • cuperconducting transformer
  • superconducting fault current limiter

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