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Progress in Switching Technology for Mets Systems

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4 Author(s)
Honig, E.M. ; Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 ; Swannack, C.E. ; Warren, R.W. ; Whitaker, D.H.

Three distinct sets of switching requirements have emerged from design optimization studies of large superconducting magnetic energy storage systems, such as the METS system to power the adiabatic plasma compression field in the proposed ¿-pinch SFTR. Extremely low joule loss cryogenic disconnects are required between storage coils in the liquid helium environment to allow charging the coils in series over a prolonged time, then to isolate the coils for parallel fast discharging into the load. Another switch must break the current in the series charging loop and absorb the energy from the stray inductance. This action will allow the subsequent opening of the cryogenic disconnects under near zero current condition. The current now has been transferred to the many paralled circuits, each containing a high current, high voltage interrupter. The opening and arc commutation of the interrupter starts the energy transfer into the load. The primary activities associated with the cryogenic disconnect have been testing and development of contact materials, configurations, and closing forces for carrying 26 kA with a resistance less than 40 n¿, and development of an actuating system that is both reliable and fast acting in a liquid helium environment. The charging loop switch will include a continuous duty switch and a vacuum interrupter. The continuous duty switch resistance can be an order of magnitude larger than that of the cryogenic disconnect because it does not present a refrigeration load.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 2 )