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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R016615/1
Title: Flux-pumped ultra-high current magnets
Principal Investigator: Coombs, Dr TA
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2017 Ends: 31 October 2020 Value (£): 479,952
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electric Motor & Drive Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Oct 2017 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 4 October 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form


The project is primarily carried out at Cambridge University by the research team led by Dr Coombs. The research is constituted to address fundamental underpinning research into the development of ultra-high field magnets that will help to advance research into novel materials and to further understand existing ones.

Superconducting technology can be used for improving the efficiency and performance of advanced research into exotic states of matter. Although persistent magnetic fields as high as 45 T have been produced using hybrid copper and superconducting magnets they are bulky and expensive to run. Achieving fields greater than 45T can be achieved as transients but the only way to produce such high fields in persistent mode is with HTS. This project will facilitate the provision of the high currents which are required to achieve high fields.

Flux pumped ultra-high current magnets have the potential to produce fields which surpass the nearly 20 year old record of 45 T in a DC field Bitter magnet in a relatively cost effective manner. These higher fields will undoubtedly require superconducting cables capable of carrying thousands of amps and the means to deliver those very high currents. Current leads could be used but at currents in the 10s of thousands of amps they represent a very high cost and heating overhead. Higher currents mean lower conductor cost, lower magnet inductances shorter charging times and lower quench voltages. Flux pump technology and the latest dynamic bridge switching method will be key to providing these high currents with minimal heat loads and minimal infrastructure in comparison to expensive high-current power supplies and warm-to-cold current leads. The resultant effect is that the purchase and running costs of high-field magnets will decrease substantially. Crucially also infra-structure costs will be slashed.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk