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Open Access Publications from the University of California

User defined elements in ANSYS for 2D multiphysics modeling of superconducting magnets


Dynamic simulation of superconducting magnets is critical for the design of quench protection systems to prevent potentially damaging temperatures and high voltage from developing after magnet quench. Modeling these scenarios is challenging due to the many multiscale phenomena which impact magnet behavior. These range from conductor scale effects of quench and interfilament coupling currents up to the behavior of the magnet in its powering and protection circuit. In addition, a strong coupling between electromagnetic and thermal domains is required to capture temperature and field dependent material properties and quench behavior. We present a finite element approach which integrates the various effects into the commercial software ANSYS by means of programming new element types. This is shown capable of simulating the strongly coupled transient electromagnetic, thermal, and circuit behavior of superconducting magnets required for quench protection studies. A benchmarking study is presented which shows close agreement between the new ANSYS elements and a COMSOL Multiphysics implementation developed at CERN for dump resistor and coupling loss induced quench based magnet protection of a Nb3Sn block dipole. Following this, the ANSYS implementation is shown reproducing strongly coupled quench back behavior observed during the test of a Nb3Sn superconducting undulator prototype at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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