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Sumitomo Electric and Cobham Technical Services are offering an advanced solution for the design of electrical machines and power equipment.

Cobham’s Quench electromagnetic software tool for modelling the quenching process in superconducting materials now comes with a library containing manufacturer-supplied material characterisation data for Sumitomo’s DI-BSSCO bismuth-based superconducting wire.

This combination will simplify the design and prototyping stages of applying high-temperature superconductors (HTSs).

Application sectors currently exploring HTS-based solutions include electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure, hydroelectric and wind-turbine generators, electric motor propulsion systems for ships and high-performance magnets.

John Simkin of Cobham Technical Services said: ‘Design activity using HTS superconductors is growing very rapidly, driven by the maturing of HTS technology and the critical need to improve energy efficiency.

‘This co-operation agreement provides an important means of simplifying and speeding design projects.

‘It eliminates a major step in the design process of specifying the non-linear properties of the wire materials – which might involve testing under highly controlled operating conditions – allowing a designer to create an accurate model of an electrical component such as a coil simply by specifying the number of turns,’ he added.

Sumitomo Electric produces long bismuth-based superconducting wire, a material suitable for commercial HTS applications.

Sumitomo’s bismuth-based superconducting wire – DI-BSSCO – is made of bismuth-strontium-calcium-copper-oxygen and operates at temperatures up to 110K.

The BSSCO materials have been used for many superconducting applications, including the world’s first superconductor electric vehicle, the first underground in-grid cable, transformers for high-speed trains and windings for ship propulsion motors, according to the company.

The Quench tool for modelling the superconducting quenching process – when a wire turns from a superconducting to a resistive state – is available as part of Cobham’s Opera computer-aided-engineering (CAE) software suite for low-frequency electromagnetic simulation.

Quench is simulation tool for superconducting equipment; its multi-physics modelling couples the electromagnetic and thermal modelling processes.

Results can be post processed to provide users with clear views and analyses of the potentially damaging effects of quench propagation as the wire heats up and becomes resistive, including displays of the voltages between coil layers, temperature gradients and so on.

This analysis helps users to quickly find the optimal design and to incorporate protection circuitry.

Sumitomo Electric Industries

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