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Lightweight Superconducting Cables for use with High-Field Magnets and Military Applications

University of Colorado

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Technology Marketing SummaryThe development of YBCO coated conductors has resulted in high critical current densities, but have been limited by the upper critical field of the superconductor. Achieving higher fields would require the use of high-temperature super conductors, but would require a novel form of cabling to achieve.

A research team at the University of Colorado at Boulder led by Daniel van der Laan has developed a novel method of stranding YBCO coated conductors to make cables for use in low ac-loss and high field magnet applications. This method preserves the full current carrying capability of the material over the temperature cycling required for superconductivity.  It gives the cable a high cable critical current, low inductance, and a relatively high engineering current density.DescriptionThe research team was able to cable individual superconducting YBCO coated conductors in such a way that a full conductor transposition is accomplished. The cable has isotropic infield behavior and consists of multiple layers of conductors. The conductor is round and flexible and carries at least 1000 A of current. The cable could potentially be cooled through a hollow core, has a relatively high engineering current density, and allows for a tunable current distribution between layers. This was accomplished by winding the YBCO coated conductors with the ceramic super conducting layer around a normal conducting round former that has a relatively small diameter.  Benefits

This invention marks the first time that high-temperature superconductors can be used in high-field magnets, such as the ones used in high energy physics experiments. The invention also allows for light weight superconducting cables that can be used by the U.S. Navy and U.S Air Force.

More Information"Superconducting Cables and Methods of Making the Same." PCT filed Feb 16, 2012.
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To: Lola Underwood<>