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Quench absorption coils: A quench protection concept for high-field superconducting accelerator magnets

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Original languageEnglish
Article number064002
JournalSuperconductor Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


A quench protection concept based on coupled secondary coils is studied for inductively transferring energy out of a quenching superconducting dipole and thus limiting the peak hotspot temperature. So-called 'quench absorption coils' are placed in close proximity to the superconducting coils and are connected in series with a diode for the purpose of preventing current transformation during regular operation. During a quench, current is then transformed into the quench absorption coils so that a significant fraction of the stored magnetic energy is dissipated in the these coils. Numerical calculations are performed to determine the impact of such a concept and to evaluate the dimensions of the quench absorption coils needed to obtain significant benefits. A previously constructed 15 T Nb3Sn block coil is taken as a reference layout. Finite-element calculations are used to determine the combined inductive and thermal response of this system and these calculations are validated with a numerical model using an adiabatic approximation. The calculation results indicate that during a quench the presence of the quench absorption coils reduces the energy dissipated in the superconducting coils by 45% and reduces the hotspot temperature by over 100 K. In addition, the peak resistive voltage over the superconducting coils is significantly reduced. This suggests that this concept may prove useful for magnet designs in which the hotspot temperature is a design driver.


  • accelerator magnets, coupled secondary coil, quench protection, superconductivity

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