Energy
Losses In High Current-Density Conductors

Rick B.
Spielman

Idaho Accelerator Center

Idaho Accelerator Center

Today the Sandia
National Laboratories' Z Machine routinely delivers total
currents in excess of 25 MA reaching current densities >
10 MA/cm. Future defense applications will require currents
delivered to compact loads that exceed 50 MA. Losses in
conductors are becoming important. Ohmic heating, shock
& PdV heating, current diffusion, and material motion
will create __unavoidable__ losses. Calculations suggest
measurable conductor losses in stainless steel on Z and
significant conductor losses at current densities above 20
MA/cm. Even high-density materials such as tungsten will
have significant conductor losses at current densities above
20 MA/cm. We describe the loss mechanisms and partial
mitigation approaches.