Radiation-Resistant Insulation for HTS Confinement Magnets
The successful implementation of fusion energy will require large superconducting magnets that shape and confine high-energy plasmas. Magnets made with YBCO superconductors hold promise for being able to achieve the high fields needed for the production of commercial-scale fusion energy. However, improved electrical insulations and magnet designs are needed to ensure the reliable operation of these devices over long periods of time. The primary objective of the Phase I work will be to minimize the stresses in YBCO coils to produce reliable plasma confinement magnets. This will be accomplished through the use of finite element models to evaluate and predict the stresses in the coils, and the development of electrical insulations that mitigate these stresses while providing the necessary electro-mechanical performance. The goal will be for the potting / insulation material to absorb most of the tensile strain that results from cooling and energizing the coil and thereby minimize the stresses within the winding. The overall goal is to develop and demonstrate HTS coils for use in fusion energy applications. The primary emphasis will be placed on managing the mechanical stresses within the YBCO conductor and optimizing the overall performance of these magnets. These objectives will be accomplished through the development of finite element models, the development and application of new electrical insulations, and the fabrication and testing of HTS wire assemblies and sub-scale coils to demonstrate coil performance and validate the FEA model. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: In addition to magnet applications, the products of this work will be applicable to motors used in ships and rail applications, generators for wind energy systems, and advanced power cables.
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