Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 58 / Number 1 / July 2010 / Pages 571-580
Chapter 12. Superconducting Magnet System / Special Issue on Large Helical Device (LHD)
Performance of the superconducting helical coils of the Large Helical Device (LHD) during the past 12 cooling cycles is reviewed. The pair of helical coils are pool cooled by liquid helium and wound with aluminum-stabilized NbTi/Cu composite-type superconductors. Intensive efforts have been made to reliably carry out excitations, as more than 20 temporary normal transitions were observed. It was found that the minimum propagation current was about 10% lower than the nominal operation current. To improve the cryogenic stability, subcooled liquid helium has been supplied since 2006 using cold compressors, and the inlet temperature is lowered to be 3.2 K. The toroidal magnetic field has been raised by 5% and the plasma parameters are being enhanced. Pulse-height analysis is successfully applied on the balance voltage and acoustic emission signals to investigate the mechanical properties of the windings and their changes in years of operation. Short-duration normal transitions are automatically detected using a sophisticated monitoring system and careful operations are continued.