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The best way to get to the ultimately high fields is a combination of the two, and this is the hybrid, the hybridization of the two technologies. We take the superconducting magnet on the outside, and on the inside, at the very high fields, we put a resistive magnet that consumes power. That way we can get to the highest fields with a minimum use of electric power. This gives us the 45 tesla hybrid, the highest steady magnetic field in the world. We've combined an 11.5 tesla superconducting magnet on the outside, and inside we have a 34 tesla magnet that gives us a total of the 45 tesla.
Made of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) tape, the miniature magnet is only the second of its kind ever made. Outperforming its MagLab predecessor, it reached a magnetic field of 11.3 teslas (or T, a unit of magnetic field strength) while inside a larger, 31.2-T resistive magnet.
Operating as one 42.5 T hybrid magnet, this test instrument achieved two records at once. First, the 42.5 T field is the highest field in which a superconducting magnet has ever operated. Second, 42.5 T is a new world record for an HTS magnet operating within a background field.
The new record is also within striking distance of the 45-tesla hybrid magnet, which holds the Guinness World Record for any continuous-field magnet, held by the National MagLab since 1999.
Engineers are confident this new HTS magnet, made of rare-earth barium copper oxide (REBCO) shaped into an extremely thin (0.042 mm) tape, will help the MagLab surpass the record held by the 45-tesla hybrid, built using an older, far bulkier technology.
In this latest test, the REBCO superconductor demonstrated an unheard-of current density — the amount of electricity passing through a conductor’s cross-section. The copper wire in your home has a current density of about 4 amps per square millimeter. Other HTS magnets have exhibited current densities of about 200 amps per square millimeter. The new no-insulation magnet reached a current density of 1,100 amps per square millimeter.
[GE] has successfully completed trials of Hydrogenie, a power generator incorporating groundbreaking technologies that enable highly efficient production of electricity in a small space. Hydrogenie makes use of superconductors instead of copper for the rotor windings on the motor, operating at 43 Kelvin or -230°C. It was tested late last year up to and well beyond its full rated load 1.7 MW spinning at 214 rpm and met expectations and design predictions.