Since the discovery of bismuth-based high-temperature superconductors in 1988 in Japan, much work has been done to develop superconducting wires and their applications. Applications include cables, motors, transformers and fault current limiters used at 77.3 K, high field magnets and motors used at 20 K and super-high field magnets and current leads used at 4.2 K. Some applications are already commercial products. This paper introduces the wire fabrication methods, wire characteristics and application apparatus.
The development of a small, light, powerful and energy-efficient superconducting magnet has been desired in order to realize better efficiency and manipulability in guiding magnetic nano-particles, magnetic organic cells and other items to the right place. This study focuses on the development of a high-temperature superconducting (HTS) bulk magnet characterized by comparatively low leak magnetism despite a relatively high magnetic field. On this basis, the authors developed a palm-sized superconducting bulk magnet, which is the world's smallest, lightest, and lowest power consuming, as well as a new technology to effectively magnetize such a bulk magnet in a compact Stirling-cycle cryocooler (magnet C) with a pre-magnetized HTS bulk magnet (magnet B) in a compact cryocooler. This technology is demonstrated in two steps. In the first step, magnet B is magnetized using a superconducting solenoid magnet with a high magnetic field (magnet A) via the field cooling method. In the second step, magnet C is magnetized in the high magnetic field of magnet B. The prototype magnet C weighs 1.8 kg, and measures 235×65×115 mm (L×W×H). Magnet B was magnetized to 4.9 T using a 5 T magnet, and the target, magnet C, was magnetized using magnet B so that its maximum trapped magnetic flux density reached the value of 3.15 T. The net power consumption in a steady cooling state was 23 W, which is very low and comparable to that of a laptop computer.