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Self-triggering superconducting fault current limiter

United States Patent

October 21, 2008
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A modular and scaleable Matrix Fault Current Limiter (MFCL) that functions as a "variable impedance" device in an electric power network, using components made of superconducting and non-superconducting electrically conductive materials. The matrix fault current limiter comprises a fault current limiter module that includes a superconductor which is electrically coupled in parallel with a trigger coil, wherein the trigger coil is magnetically coupled to the superconductor. The current surge doing a fault within the electrical power network will cause the superconductor to transition to its resistive state and also generate a uniform magnetic field in the trigger coil and simultaneously limit the voltage developed across the superconductor. This results in fast and uniform quenching of the superconductors, significantly reduces the burnout risk associated with non-uniformity often existing within the volume of superconductor materials. The fault current limiter modules may be electrically coupled together to form various "n" (rows).times."m" (columns) matrix configurations.
Yuan; Xing (Albany, NY), Tekletsadik; Kasegn (Rexford, NY)
SuperPower, Inc. (
11/ 097,560
April 2, 2005
The U.S. government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require to the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for in the terms of Contract No. DE-FC36-03G013033 awarded by the Department of Energy.