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August 21, 2011

Tri-Alpha Energy - A Well-Confined Field-Reversed Configuration Plasma Formed by Dynamic Merging of Two Colliding Compact Toroids in C-2

Tri-alpha Energy nuclear fusion C2 experiment looks a lot like what Helion Energy has been doing

19 page presentation by Tri-alpha Energy (H/T Talk Polywell)

Highlights of Scientific Achievements:

* Demonstration of long-lived FRCs by dynamic merging Compact Toroids (CTs)

* Active control of n=2 mode rotational instability by (1) quadrupole fields and (2) electrode biasing

* Reduction of background neutrals by wall conditioning (Titanium or Lithium getterings)

* Improvement in flux confinement / transport properties

Helion Energy work has been described in detail.





* Hot stable FRCs have been produced in C-2 using the novel merging FRC technique, and plasma lifetime achieved record exceeding2 ms.

* The merged FRC state exhibits following key properties:

* Strong conversion from kinetic energy into thermal energy, predominantly into the ion channel.

- Significantly improved confinement over the original θ-pinch FRCs with flux transport rates approaching classical values.

- N=2 rotational mode has been controlled by quadrupole fields as well as by positively-biased electrode.

* Wall conditioning is effective at reducing both neutral recycling and impurity influx.

Other recent news on Trialpha Energy

Tri Alpha Energy, a secretive California-based company, is believed to have raised $90 million for its variant of the field-reversed technique; among its investors is Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. In a rare public communication a year ago, Tri Alpha researchers showed how they had collided two plasma balls at a temperature over 5 million degrees and held them together for up to 2 milliseconds (Physical Review Letters, vol 105, p 045003). Tri Alpha says it will produce a working commercial reactor some time between 2015 and 2020 - possibly before ITER fires up for the first time.

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