Active Quenching Technique for YBCO Tapes: Quench Acceleration and Protection

26 Apr 2018

The application of resistive-type superconducting fault current limiters (RSFCLs) in electrical networks is very attractive due to their relative compactness, light weight, and good performance. However, this technology still has drawbacks: asymmetrical quench, uncertain limiting velocity, passive action, and incapability of enlarging capacity. Here, we present an active quenching technique which can potentially solve these problems. The quenching process is triggered using high frequency (HF) AC fields, which are generated by two coupled copper coils attached on both sides of the YBCO sample. Our experiments show that this approach is effective in guaranteeing uniform quench and therefore is expected to be able to significantly extend the service life of the device. Moreover, the quench speed can be considerably increased by the HF field. We find that the performance of acceleration is positively correlated to the transport current, intensity and frequency of the AC field. In addition, a DC magnetic field is added around the sample holder simultaneously with the AC field, to study the field-angular-frequency dependence of the quench time t(B_AC,f_AC,B_DC,θ_DC). Experimental results prove that the DC magnetic field can cooperate with the HF AC field to accelerate quench, which means better performance can be produced with lower costs with the two fields acting together. In all, this technique showed outstanding performance regarding quench acceleration and tape protection. We believe the HF-assisted quenching technology has a promising future in current limiting devices and hope our findings could be helpful for its potential applications.