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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Lumped-Element Dynamic Electro-Thermal model of a superconducting magnet


Modeling accurately electro-thermal transients occurring in a superconducting magnet is challenging. The behavior of the magnet is the result of complex phenomena occurring in distinct physical domains (electrical, magnetic and thermal) at very different spatial and time scales. Combined multi-domain effects significantly affect the dynamic behavior of the system and are to be taken into account in a coherent and consistent model. A new methodology for developing a Lumped-Element Dynamic Electro-Thermal (LEDET) model of a superconducting magnet is presented. This model includes non-linear dynamic effects such as the dependence of the magnet's differential self-inductance on the presence of inter-filament and inter-strand coupling currents in the conductor. These effects are usually not taken into account because superconducting magnets are primarily operated in stationary conditions. However, they often have significant impact on magnet performance, particularly when the magnet is subject to high ramp rates. Following the LEDET method, the complex interdependence between the electro-magnetic and thermal domains can be modeled with three sub-networks of lumped-elements, reproducing the electrical transient in the main magnet circuit, the thermal transient in the coil cross-section, and the electro-magnetic transient of the inter-filament and inter-strand coupling currents in the superconductor. The same simulation environment can simultaneously model macroscopic electrical transients and phenomena at the level of superconducting strands. The model developed is a very useful tool for reproducing and predicting the performance of conventional quench protection systems based on energy extraction and quench heaters, and of the innovative CLIQ protection system as well.

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