The Superconductivity Laboratory was inaugurated by Cepel in 1996. It performs Research and Development (R&D) of superconductivity materials, devices and equipment used in the electricity sector. Its activities are multidisciplinary, linking the fundaments of basic science to applied research. In Brazil, it is one of the few laboratories turned to the applications of superconductivity in the electricity sector.
Located in the Fundão Unit, the activities conducted in the laboratory emphasize high temperature superconductors. Such materials present no resistance and high current densities (10 kA - 1 MA/cm2, 77K), allowing the construction of compact and efficient equipment and devices.
Superconductor equipment may considerably improve the reliability and quality of the electric energy supply. Several prototypes of superconductor equipment and devices have already been demonstrated in several countries, including electrical network facilities. Some applications for the electricity sector are about to be commercialized, such as cables and short circuit current limiters.
The laboratory is also dedicated to generate and detain knowledge in applied superconductivity; human resources training (internships and scholarships); knowledge transfer to the electricity sector and national industry.
It obtained a patent (PI 0002965, 2001), in the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), for the sintering process for the production of ceramic superconductors through the Powder- in-tube technique.
The Superconductivity Laboratory develops activities linked to the line of research "Superconductivity". Lately, it has been dedicated to the research and development of a superconductor short circuit current limiter and to the processing and characterization of high temperature superconductors.
It is prepared to measure the voltage under direct currents of up to 1000 A; accurately measure the voltage under pulsed currents of up to 1000 A (current pulses of 10 – 500 ms); measure of critical currents of up to 1000 A under a magnetic field of up to 1T; and measure the electric resistance at temperatures from 20 K up to the environment temperature.
The Superconductivity Laboratory also supports the lines of research "Varistor Blocks" and "Fuel Cells", since both involve the study of advanced ceramics.
• Measurement system of critical current (VxI curve) with direct current and pulsed current sources
• Measurement system of critical temperature (RxT curve) with closed cycle refrigeration
• Liquid helium cryostat with superconductor coil of 7 T
• Liquid nitrogen cryostat with coils of 1 T
• Tubular furnaces of 1100 – 1500 oC, with atmospheric control
• Box furnace of 1200 oC
Box furnace of 1700 oC
Impedance Analyzer (10 Hz to 110 MHz)
• Zirconia rotary ball mill
• Analytical balance
• Dry chamber (Glove Box)
• Wire drawing machine
• Rolling mills.