Practical applications of YBCO coated conductors (CC) involving superconducting coils will utilize tapes packed together in an arrangement resembling a vertical stack. In such configuration there is an important electromagnetic interaction between the tapes, which strongly influences the loss characteristic of the device.
In the presence of an external magnetic field, the losses are reduced compared to an isolated tape because of the reduced aspect ratio of the conductor and, at least for low fields, because of an effective screening of the central part of the stack. On the contrary, in the case of AC transport current, the losses tend to increase due to the enhancement of the local field caused by the interaction of the self-field produced by neighboring tapes. In practical situations the conductor is usually subjected to both transport current and magnetic field, so that there is a trade-off between the two effects.
In this paper we investigate, both experimentally and by means of finite-element method calculations, the ac loss behavior of a stack composed by a finite number of tapes in different working conditions, and we compare the AC losses to the ones of non-interacting tapes in order to determine if the use of stacked tapes is advantageous from the point of view of power dissipation.