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May 18, 2011

New Switches for Lawrenceville Plasma Physics appear to work as designed


Lawrenceville Plasma Physics dense plasma fusion project provided an update They tried out the new more robust switches and they fired at 45kV yesterday. 45 kilovolts was the target voltage level. The design seems sound. Analysis continues today.

Switch problems have been at the heart of delays with Lawrenceville Plasma Physics. They need full voltage which they now appear to have and reliable firing of all 12 switches at the same time. They have to be able adjust the firing to eliminate any early beams.



Lawrenceville Plasma Physics was ruggedizing their dense plasma focus fusion machine. A thicker tungsten rod required a much bigger spark plug and the widening of the hole in the electrode plates. They are doing this to end mechanical and electrical breakdown of the insulators. They wanted to press on to 45 kilovolts and they have achieved that target.

The fourth of eight goals is to increase the charging potential on the machine, by 5 kV steps, up to the full capacity of 45 kV and in the process achieve a peak current of about 2 million amps with deuterium.

Increasing the current (by increasing the voltage is where a lot of performance improvement is expected.

Scaling with increased current, I^5 scaling to 1.4 MA (55 times more power)

Optimization of axial magnetic field (3 times more power)

Scaling with increased current, I^4 scaling from 1.4 MA to 2.8 MA (16 times more power)

So far LPP has been achieving much faster scaling, almost I^7.

Changing the fuel to pB11 should enable an increase of 160 times (higher reaction rate at 600 keV, more energy per reaction, and more compression)

The smaller rod is the old one and the larger is the new rugged rod

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