Performance of an inductive fault current limiter employing BSCCO superconducting cylinders Academic Article uri icon


  • Inductive fault current limiters operating at high levels of short-circuit currents are plagued by appearance of overheated thermal domains in active superconducting elements. Excessive growth of thermal domains may lead to a fatal mechanical destruction of the superconducting element during a fault event. It has been determined that employment of superconductors with gradual dissipation onset controlled by flux relaxation processes can efficiently prevent local overheating. Operation of such elements, fabricated by melt cast technique, has been investigated experimentally in a small-scale open-core model of an inductive fault current limiter. The results of the experiments demonstrate the feasibility of application of superconducting cylinders having properties dominated by flux relaxation processes in inductive current limiters. The most important parameter of a superconducting element designated to operate in such devices is the rate of flux relaxation and its dependence on ac current amplitude. It has been found that ac losses associated with flux relaxation in the investigated cylinders allow for a reliable limiter operation at the nominal current level. Projection of the parameters of the investigated small-scale model to the full-scale device has been performed using the concept of physical modeling. The obtained results indicate that it is possible to build a full-scale device based on flux creep dissipation mechanisms for distribution networks.

publication date

  • January 1, 1999