Dynamic core length in saturated core fault current limiters

Y Nikulshin, Y Wolfus, A Friedman and Y Yeshurun
Department of Physics, Institute of Superconductivity Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel

A saturated core fault current limiter (SCFCL) is a non-linear core-reactor where the core is saturated by an external superconducting DC bias source to achieve a low core permeability at nominal AC currents. Fault current levels in the AC coils de-saturate the core and transform it to a higher permeability state, hence limiting the fault current. In this work we describe the transition between saturated and de-saturated states in three SCFCL configurations. The‘effective core length’, Leff, of the SCFCL, defined as the length of the de-saturated AC corelimb, is introduced for exploring this transition as a function of the current, I, in the AC coil. Practically, Leff allows one to see the SCFCL as an inductor with a variable core length, allowing calculations of the impedance of the SCFCL over the whole range of operating currents. The Leff(I) curve is further used to calculate the dynamics of the demagnetization factor in a SCFCL. We show that the strong change in the magnetic induction of a SCFCL at high current is the result of both increasing the effective core length and decreasing the demagnetization factor. The method and results presented here serve as an important tool for comparing between various SCFCL concepts not only by comparing their impedance values at the extreme fault and nominal current conditions but also by providing an insight into the full de-saturation process.

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