Effect of Twist Pitch in the Strands on the Saturation and Losses in the Nb3Sn Strands for the ITER TF CICC

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ITER TF coils will see a significant longitudinal magnetic field in the event of the plasma disruption. This abrupt change of magnetic fields results in the appearance of an additional electrical field in the strands. The mechanism of this electrical field is the induced currents that expel the flux from the strands. This effect was known since the late 1970's [1-3] and most of the details necessary for the analyses given in this report are presented in [4]. Let's assume for simplicity a zero transport current in the strand. When a longitudinal pulsed field is applied, the outer filaments will ... continued below

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Martovetsky, N N December 6, 2007.

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ITER TF coils will see a significant longitudinal magnetic field in the event of the plasma disruption. This abrupt change of magnetic fields results in the appearance of an additional electrical field in the strands. The mechanism of this electrical field is the induced currents that expel the flux from the strands. This effect was known since the late 1970's [1-3] and most of the details necessary for the analyses given in this report are presented in [4]. Let's assume for simplicity a zero transport current in the strand. When a longitudinal pulsed field is applied, the outer filaments will carry an induced current repelling the change of flux. The current density of this current is 'critical' in the simplification of Bean's critical state model, where superconducting transition is represented as j=j{sub c} at any non-zero electrical field and zero where the electrical field has not penetrated. In reality, since the current density is roughly logarithmic with the electrical field, E=E{sub c}*exp[(j-j{sub c})/jo], Bean's model is just a simplification, and current density is slightly nonuniform in the outer filament and more so for the interior strands. The inner portion of the filaments will carry a current of the opposite sign. Even in the Bean's model it is not uniform, but the assumption that it is uniform and less than critical simplifies mathematics significantly and does not deviate far from the real current density distribution. In certain circumstances, the average electrical field in the strands will be high enough to exceed the take-off electrical field averaged across the cross section. In this case, the multifilamentary strand will become unstable and will experience transition to the normal state. With zero transport current, it will eventually recover, of course. This phenomenon is analogous to the flux jump. If the strand carries a transport current, the situation becomes more complicated. If it goes unstable and the transport current is higher than the cryostability limit (by Stekly), or if there are enough losses to bring the temperature above the current sharing temperature taking into account limited heat capacity of the CICC, the strand will not recover, and the CICC will go normal. Conservatively, we will consider that if we find an instantaneous unstable situation, it is not acceptable. In presence of a transport current, the situation is sensitive to the direction of the strand twist, direction of the pulsed field and direction of the transport current. Recently, ITER decided to increase the twist pitch of the TF strands from 15 mm to 30 mm to improve the stability of the strands against the longitudinal field. In this report we will quantify the effects of this proposed change and perform a trade off study. The issue is that by increasing the twist pitch of the strands we not only increase the coupling losses in the transverse magnetic field, as expected in classical multifilamentary composite superconductors, but also increase the hysteresis losses in the strands with internal tin. In classical multifilamentary superconductors, twist pitch change should not cause an increase of the hysteresis losses in the transverse field. However the high Nb3Sn content internal tin strands develop transverse links, which couple the filaments into clusters. These links turn out to contribute a significant fraction to hysteresis losses [5]. If we project the results of [5] onto the ITER proposal to increase the twist pitch from 15 to 30 mm, we should expect the hysteresis losses to increase by a factor of two, which will likely disqualify strands with 30 mm twist pitch. This very strand twisted to 15 mm twist pitch would likely pass the ITER criteria. So, increasing the twist pitch has a very negative consequence and we need to make sure that it is absolutely necessary. Recently, A. Vostner (private communication) reported preliminary results on the losses in candidate TF strands. In agreement with what was reported in [5]; he found that TF strands with 15 mm twist pitch have hysteresis losses about half of what the strands with 30 mm twist pitch have.

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PDF-file: 13 pages; size: 0.5 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: UCRL-TR-237113
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/923988 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 923988
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc895861

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  • December 6, 2007

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, 5:18 p.m.

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Martovetsky, N N. Effect of Twist Pitch in the Strands on the Saturation and Losses in the Nb3Sn Strands for the ITER TF CICC, report, December 6, 2007; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc895861/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.