Helium-cooled superconducting magnet systems are essential for the construction of modern accelerators. Very high current – often several tens of thousands Ampere – must be transferred to the cold part of the magnets to energize them. The use of conventional conductors for this purpose leads to the increase of the cryogenic system load, because the thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity of metals are interdependent.
HTS tapes can transfer very high currents through very small cross-section. Thus, the development of HTS tapes made possible the transfer of high current into the cold part of the system without significant increase of the heat flow. This was used for example in construction of the Large Hadron Collider – its magnets are energized via HTS current leads, which carry together 3 million Ampere. The energy consumed by the cryocooling system decreased by a factor of 3.
Thanks to their unique properties, HTS tapes (YBCO and BSCCO) are used to make extremely efficient current leads« For solutions