Optimization of ITER Nb3Sn CICCs for coupling loss, transverse electromagnetic load and axial thermal contraction
Superconductors Science and Technology
The ITER cable-in-conduit conductors (CICCs) are built up from sub-cable bundles, wound in different stages, which are twisted to counter coupling loss caused by time-changing external magnet fields. The selection of the twist pitch lengths has major implications for the performance of the cable in the case of strain sensitive superconductors, i.e. Nb3Sn, as the electromagnetic and thermal contraction loads are large but also for the heat load from the AC coupling loss. Reduction of the
... se load and warm-up cool-down degradation can be reached by applying longer twist pitches in a particular sequence for the sub-stages, offering a large cable transverse stiffness, adequate axial flexibility and maximum allowed lateral strand support. Analysis of short sample (TF conductor) data reveals that increasing the twist pitch can lead to a gain of the effective axial compressive strain of more than 0.3 % with practically no degradation from bending. For reduction of the coupling loss, specific choices of the cabling twist sequence are needed with the aim to minimize the area of linked strands and bundles that are coupled and form loops with the applied changing magnetic field, instead of simply avoiding longer pitches. In addition we recommend increasing the wrap coverage of the CS conductor from 50 % to at least 70 %. The models predict significant improvement against strain sensitivity and substantial decrease of the AC coupling loss in Nb3Sn CICCs, but also for NbTi CICCs minimization of the coupling loss can be achieved. Although the success of long pitches to transverse load degradation was already demonstrated, the prediction of the combination with low coupling loss needs to be validated by a short sample test.