February 24, 2013

Brookhaven on the verge of revolutionizing superconducting magnet technology to 20-25 tesla in 2013 and 35-40 tesla by 2018

A 15+ Tesla High Temperature Superconductor solenoid was already designed, built and tested in 2012. An all superconductor solenoid can be combined with a conventional 10 tesla magnet to achieve a hybrid 25 tesla. Ramesh Gupta, Brookhaven National labs and others, are working to a more ambitious 20-25 Telsa goal (all high temperature superconductor in 2013 in multiple programs.

The Ultimate target is about 40 Telsa in a hybrid design (HTS+LTS).

• High strength HTS (e.g., with Hastelloy substrate from SuperPower) are very attractive for high field applications
• Progress in conductor to date has been impressive. There is even more room for progress – even higher Ic and more uniform Ic
• But conductor is only the beginning. There are several challenges in making very high field magnets out of them

If the Large Hadron Collider had upgrades to the 25 tesla high temperature superconducting magnets it could have 3 times the colliding energy levels. There has also been breakthroughs with cryocoolers that do not use helium which can cool down to 12-50K with lower operating costs.

Challenges with HTS for High Field Superconducting Magnets
• Anisotropic electrical properties for YBCO or tape conductor
• Mechanical properties (more so for 2212 but for YBCO also)
• Quench protection : a major issue for HTS
• Containment (mechanical) structure
• Conductor cost

Progress has been made against several of these challenges.

Conductor cost dominates the cryogenic cost (cooling costs) by an order of magnitude.

High Temperature (~65 K) Option: Saves on cryogenics (Field ~2.5 T)
High Field (~25 T) Option: Saves on Conductor (Temperature ~4 K)

There is significant work towards GRID Scale (GJ scale) Superconducting Energy Storage.
There is project to achieve about 25 Telsa High Energy Density SMES (superconducting magnet energy storage)

There is another program to achieve a 40 Telsa Solenoid for Muon Accelerator Program. If regular resistive magnets were used a 40 tesla system would consume hundreds of megawatts of power.

The 35 tesla magnet program is discussed in this talk.


Links to talks given by Ramesh Gupta.

Previously we had noted that Fermilab had funding towards achieving 50 tesla superconducting magnets.

Note the applications - high speed maglev trains, energy weapons, helps towards various ways to achieve commercial nuclear fusion, various space propulsion applications, medical imaging devices (MRI, NMR) and more

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