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Superconducting fault current-limiter with variable shunt impedance

United States Patent

November 19, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A superconducting fault current-limiter is provided, including a superconducting element configured to resistively or inductively limit a fault current, and one or more variable-impedance shunts electrically coupled in parallel with the superconducting element. The variable-impedance shunt(s) is configured to present a first impedance during a superconducting state of the superconducting element and a second impedance during a normal resistive state of the superconducting element. The superconducting element transitions from the superconducting state to the normal resistive state responsive to the fault current, and responsive thereto, the variable-impedance shunt(s) transitions from the first to the second impedance. The second impedance of the variable-impedance shunt(s) is a lower impedance than the first impedance, which facilitates current flow through the variable-impedance shunt(s) during a recovery transition of the superconducting element from the normal resistive state to the superconducting state, and thus, facilitates recovery of the superconducting element under load.
Llambes; Juan Carlos H. (Schenectady, NY), Xiong; Xuming (Sugar Land, TX)
Superpower, Inc. (Schenectady, NY)
12/ 691,325
January 21, 2010
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH This invention was made, in part, with Government support under Contract Number DE-F36-03G013033, awarded by the Department of Energy. Accordingly, the United States Government may have certain rights in the invention.