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.
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.