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The authors have studied resistive-type fault current limiting (FCL) elements which have superconducting thin film deposited on almost whole area of the substrate and a gold layer deposited in the shape of meander on the superconductor. From experiments using YBCO thin film superconductor fabricated by MOD (metal organic deposition) method and FEM analysis, voltage generation at local areas of the FCL element before the S-N transition is compared. FEM analysis with critical current density (J C) distribution in the superconductor taken into account is also carried out to study the influence of inhomogeneous J C distribution on the current limiting characteristics of this type of FCL element. Electromagnetic phenomena in the FCL element with inhomogeneous J C distribution are clearly described.