Electro-Thermal Modeling of High-Temperature Superconducting Coils and Magnets in Collaboration With CERN

Superconducting magnets are used in high-energy particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to exert electromagnetic forces on the particle beam. These forces keep the particles on a circular path by, e.g., bending the path of the beam and keeping it focused.

High-temperature superconducting (HTS) materials are a promising technology for high-field accelerator magnets since they overcome the current limits imposed by low-temperature superconductors in terms of critical temperature and maximum coercive field. However, the practical application of HTS materials for accelerator magnets is still an active field of research and development. To aid with the latter, numerical methods are of major importance since they allow an evaluation of the complex magneto-thermal phenomena happening inside the magnet. For this reason, robust, efficient and accurate numerical methods which can cope with the vanishing resistivity of superconducting materials are needed.

As part of a recently started collaboration between CERN and TU Darmstadt, these methods are implemented in the open-source finite element (FE) framework GetDP in order to simulate magneto-thermal transient phenomena in HTS applications, both in a general three-dimensional setting and in two-dimensional settings due to translational or cylindrical symmetry. Details on the implementation can be found in this talk given at the “GetDP Workshop” at CERN. The project’s long-term aim is to embed this FE code into a bigger framework to take surrounding circuitry into account and to enable the automatic generation of magnet models to simplify the numerical analysis of superconducting magnets used at CERN (compare also this post about the STEAM project.

Erik Schnaubelt