A numerical thermal model and the results of stability analysis
of a multifilamentary superconducting wire are presented. The model takes
into account the temperature dependencies of the conductor thermal
conductivity and heat capacity as well as transient heat transfer to the
coolant. The one-dimensional heat conduction equation adopted in the model
is solved by means of the Crank-Nicolson method. As a measure of
conductor stability the minimum quench energy (MQE) is taken.
A strong dependence of MQE on current, copper to superconductor ratio
and the magnitude of the conductor cooled surface is observed.
The influence of duration and spatial length of the thermal energy pulse
on MQE is also noticed. The calculations show that an increase of the
heat transfer coefficient in the transient nucleate boiling region
is not followed by an adequate rise in the critical energy of the
conductor.