Cryocoolers pp 65-81 | Cite as

Mixed Refrigerant Joule–Thomson Cryocooler for Cooling High-Temperature Superconductor Cables

  • Sangkwon JeongEmail author
  • Jisung Lee
  • Cheonkyu Lee
Part of the International Cryogenics Monograph Series book series (ICMS)


A cryogenic Joule–Thomson (JT) refrigerator has several advantages for large industrial applications, in the aspect of easy cooling power adjustability and high reliability due to no moving parts at low temperature. A mixed refrigerant Joule–Thomson (MRJT) refrigerator technology, which has usually exhibited good performance at refrigeration temperature above 80 K, can be useful for cooling high-temperature superconducting (HTS) system if it is modified to extend the cooling temperature up to 70 K. The demand of highly reliable, highly efficient, large cooling capacity and low-cost refrigeration for cooling HTS cables has spurred investigation of advancing an MRJT cryogenic refrigerator. A precooling stage is an essential part of an efficient MRJT refrigerator at the refrigeration temperature of 70 K, and a refrigeration cycle including a precooling cycle can be designed and optimized to achieve reasonably high COP. The neon–nitrogen MRJT refrigerator is specifically needed for cooling subcooled liquid nitrogen of the HTS cable. The MR for the first stage (low-temperature cycle) of the cascade MRJT refrigerator and the single MRJT refrigerator is composed of nitrogen (N2), argon (Ar), tetrafluoromethane (CF4, R14) and octafluoropropane (C3F8, R218). R410A is selected as the refrigerant for the second stage (high-temperature cycle) of the cascade MRJT refrigerator, of which the cooling temperature is approximately 240 K. With its versatility of constituents and scale, the nonflammable MRJT technology is competitive in commercial sectors with the already developed Stirling and Brayton refrigerators. The technical advancement of the MRJT cryogenic refrigerator is emphasized particularly for the cooling purpose of large-scale HTS application. The optimized MRJT refrigerator in this chapter has demonstrated its potential as a cooling system for HTS cables with improved efficiency at 70 K.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Mechanical Engineering, Cryogenic Engineering LaboratorySchool of Mechanical, Aerospace and Systems Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and TechnologyDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Launcher Propulsion Control Team, KSLV-II R&D Head Office, Korea Aerospace Research InstituteDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Thermal & Fluid System R&BD Group, Research Institute of Sustainable Manufacturing SystemKorea Institute of Industrial TechnologyCheonanRepublic of Korea

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