Technical Reports

Conceptual Requirements of the Superconducting Linear Induction Motor

  • 01
  • Sep
  • 1992
AUTHOR: Kris Falkowski, Michael J. Hennessy
OFFICE: RPD
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/NMI-92/19
SUBJECT: Maglev
KEYWORDS: Propulsion Motor, High-Temperature Superconductors, Design Study
ABSTRACT: This study is a feasibility and conceptual design study of a superconducting linear induction motor for Maglev applications. Superconducting materials are maturing to the extent that a superconducting linear motor can be built with existing niobium titanium superconducting technology. Several motors were considered, with and without iron. There are advantages and disadvantages of eliminating iron in the motor. The guideway is less costly if iron is removed, but magnetic shielding is required around the motor to protect the passengers. Parametric studies for the motors were made of the input power requirements, resistive losses and cost and weight The result is that superconductors can increase motor efficiency by reducing the resistive losses of the windings. However, there are power losses and additional operating costs associated with keeping the magnet cold (at cryogenic temperatures) due to AC losses in the superconductor and from cryogenic losses in the dewar. As a consequence of the associated support equipment a superconducting linear motor for a Maglev train is not as efficient or as practical as a conventional copper iron motor. The study also examines superconducting linear motor designs using futuristic high-temperature superconducting materials. High-temperature superconducting materials are less sensitive to AC losses and are more economical to operate. As a consequence, superconducting linear motors incorporating high-temperature superconducting materials are likely to offer the advantages of efficiency and light weight, especially for designs not requiring iron.
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