Description: This report describes the potential impact that high-temperature superconductors (HTSs) may have on transportation by magnetically levitated vehicles. It is not intended as a planning document, but rather as an overview of potential HTS applications to magnetic-levitation (maglev) transportation. The present maglev program in the United States is summarized, and the present status of development of HTSs is described. Areas identified for possible impact on maglev technology are (1) liquid-nitrogen-cooled levitation magnets, (2) magnetic-field shielding of the passenger compartment, (3) superconducting magnetic energy storage for wayside power, (4) superconducting bearings for flywheel energy storage for wayside power, (5) downleads to continuously powered liquid-helium-cooled levitation magnets, and (6) liquid-hydrogen-cooled levitation magnets and linear motor propulsion windings. Major technical issues that remain to be resolved for the use of HTSs in maglev applications include thermal magnetic stability, mechanical properties, and critical current density at liquid-nitrogen temperatures.
Date: February 1, 1992
Creator: Hull, J.R.
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