Optimization Design of a Saturated Iron Core Fault Current Limiter Using a GA and PSO Algorithms Coupled With Finite Element Method

Gabriel Dos Santos, Felipe Sass, Vitor Hugo, Guilherme Sotelo, Nuno Vilhena, Roberto Oliveira, Anabela Pronto, Joao Murta Pina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A dc-bias high-temperature superconducting (HTS) coil is the main part of the Saturated Iron Core Fault Current Limiter (SIC-SFCL). Another relevant part of the SIC-SFCL is the iron core, which represents the main volume of the device. Therefore, optimizing the iron core volume decreases the equipment cost significantly. Also, it is important to find an optimized geometry for the dc HTS coil that allows extracting the maximum potential of the superconducting material. This article proposes a full design optimization of a SIC-SFCL, combining the GA and the particle swarm optimization (PSO) methods. For the optimization procedure, the authors consider the superconducting tape and the ferromagnetic material. The COMSOL software is used to implement the finite element model and the Python language coupled to the COMSOL software codes the optimization algorithms. The authors study different cognitive, social, and inertial parameters in PSO, in order to evaluate the impact of those parameters in the optimization. The results present the ability of the algorithm to provide adequate SIC-SFCL design parameters without any expert intervention. To validate the proposed methodology, the authors perform experimental tests and compare them with the simulation results. The steady-state regime presents an error less than 1% and the short-circuit regime shows a maximum error equal to 10.3%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5600111
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Coated conductor
  • fault current limiter
  • genetic algorithm
  • particle swarm optimization


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