Design And Testing of a Continuous Duty Current Collectors

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Laughlin, R.L.
Gully, J.H
Spann, M.L.

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The Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas at Austin (CEM-UT) is involved in brush research to develop sliding electrical contacts capable of high current density (2 kA/cm2), high slip speed (200 m/s), continuous operation. The preferred approach is to actively cool the contact by introducing a coolant into the brush-rotor interface. Preliminary testing of this concept has been performed with encouraging results. Design of a contact will be presented along with test results from a single point brush tester capable of 200 m/s slip speed with externally supplied current Results from the high speed brush tester (HSBT), a homopolar generator capable of 400 m/s operation, will also be presented.


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R.L. Laughlin, J.H. Gully, and M.L. Spann, “Design and testing of a continuous duty current collectors, “1987 International Current Collector Conference, Austin, Texas, U.S.A., November 16-17, 1987.