Current leads

Current leads link superconducting systems to the power grid which makes them an essential component of all superconductor applications. The current path between both electric levels consists of normal conducting material and serving as a hot-to-cold interface enables power transfer: One end of the current path is connected to the power grid which operates at or above ambient temperature while the other end is cooled down to the cryogenic operating temperature of the superconductor. Current leads routinely bridge temperature gaps in the order of 300°C and their design substantially affects both capital expenditure and operating cost of superconductor-based systems.

Standardized Design
VESC supplies ICE®LINK current leads for electric energy transfer between normal conducting power installations and superconducting systems which operate at temperatures of 77K and lower. ICE®LINK is the first current lead to combine current paths and their cryogenic periphery in one compact system. The standardized ICE®LINK design makes it easy to match current leads exactly to the requirements of specific superconductor applications.

Optimum Target Temperature
The current carrying capacity of modern superconductors increases at lower operating temperatures. Consequently, the most advantageous ratio of superconductor cost and cryogenic cost may be determined for individual applications. And with ICE®LINK, cryogenic performance is easily adjusted to the target temperatures required.

Wide Range of Applications
ICE®LINK current leads can be designed to provide current carrying capacities between 20 kA and 200 kA. Leads for higher currents are available on demand and VESC is happy to meet specific customer requirements regarding connector systems, target temperature control etc. ICE®LINK current leads are universally applicable for superconducting systems regardless of whether YBCO, MgB2-, NbTi, or Nb3Sn materials are utilized.

Energy efficient cryo-design
ICE®LINK current paths are cooled by an energy efficient multi-stage cryosystem which affords substantial power cost savings compared to conventional single-stage systems. The design builds on industry-tried and -tested cryogenic standard components. As a result, ICE®LINK meets most stringent requirements on availability, durability, and economy of service costs in all fields of application. Moreover, ICE®LINK offers easy integration in existing technical environments since current path and cryosystem form one compact unit.