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EPFL Physics Thesis Distinction to Nikolay Bykovskiy

© 2018 SPC

© 2018 SPC

Nikolay Bykovskiy recently received the EPFL Physics Thesis Distinction for his thesis on 'HTS high current cable for fusion application'.

The selection committee of the Physics Doctoral School awarded the EPFL Physics Thesis Distinction to Nikolay Bykovskiy for his thesis performed under the guidance of Dr Pierluigi Bruzzone and Prof. Ambrogio Fasoli.

In his thesis, Nikolay investigates the applicability of High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) material for fusion magnets. Since HTS are only available as thin tapes, the first step consists in developing strands made of stacks of ten to forty tapes encased into two semi-circular copper profiles. He investigated the electrical and electromechanical properties of these strands. As a second step, strands are conventionally twisted around a central copper plate to form the superconducting 60kA-class cable.

The major part of his thesis deals with the tests performed at temperatures in the range 5-40K while cables are immersed in a strong background magnetic field, up to 12T. The results obtained demonstrate the feasibility of using HTS materials for fusion magnets. The AC loss and quench properties have been investigated in dedicated experiments, at the level of the tape, strand and cable. The results validate numerical models of superconducting HTS cables.

He concluded in stating that HTS cables could even improve fusion magnets, compared to conventional LTS (Low Temperature Superconductors), since higher magnetic field can be achieved with larger margins in the operating temperature range. In addition, this has the potential to reduce the overall dimensions and cost of fusion devices.

The EPFL Physics Thesis Distinction is given to the best 8% doctoral theses within the EPFL Doctoral Program in Physics (EDPY). This prize recognizes the PhD students who have distinguished themselves by a research of the highest quality in physical sciences.