The major activities of SMES research in the organization of Japanese government (New Energy Development Organization, NEDO) and of private sectors (Engineering Advancement Association, ENAA) have been reported. In this activities, the 5GWh SMES which will be usefull for peak shaving of the utility network has been conceptually designed and the economic prospect has been discussed. The superconducting coil with a diameter of 400m will be constructed underground in a depth of 150m. The Nb3Sn cables carrying 700KA currrent will be laid in a package of conductor assembly which includes the structure for axis-oriented electromagnetic forces. The rock bears the radial electromagnetic forces of the coil through thermally insulated plastic composite. The wall of liquid helium vessel is mechanically supported by hook pins to the coil assembly. The vaccum wall is fixed to the rock by bolts compatible with rock stabilization. All of these coil assembling will be performed during 4 years term. The term of total construction including pre-construction works has been estimated to be 8 to 9 years. Finally the direct construction cost can be estimated by taking into account the weight of each materials, material unit cost and labour cost. The estimation of the total construction capital for 5GWh SMES has been performed including the indirect capital and contingency. Thus the economic discusion has been performed comparing the construction capital with the economic break even cost. At last they came to the conclusion that the construction of 5GWh SMES is feasible in a technical view point and the unit can meet an economical requirement of into utilities at the year 2000.
The energy counting rate of acoustic emission (AE) has been measured as a function of energizing current for several dry wound superconducting solenoid in order to pursue the frictional motion of the conductor during the energization. A simple theory based on the frictional motion predicts that the AE rate increases monotonically with increasing current. This has been confirmed by the experiment for some test coils. Some practical magnets, however, exhibit different behaviors, depending on the type of winding: layer winding and pancake winding. For the layer wound coils, the AE rate has a peak in the high current region when the current is increased. For the pancake wound coils, the AE rate has a peak in the low current region. These behaviors are also discussed on the basis of the conductor motion.