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A New Approach to Fusion Energy. D. C. Barnes coronadocon@msn.com FPA Pathways to the Future September 28, 2006. Outline. Ultimate fusion – neutronless Two new ideas (both for rotating plasmas) Use high T to make efficient heat engine

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a new approach to fusion energy

A New Approach to Fusion Energy

D. C. Barnes

coronadocon@msn.com

FPA Pathways to the Future

September 28, 2006

Coronado Consulting

outline
Outline
  • Ultimate fusion – neutronless
  • Two new ideas (both for rotating plasmas)
    • Use high T to make efficient heat engine
    • Use rotation to make waves from static field (Doppler effect)
  • Summary and plans

Coronado Consulting

the challenge of aneutronic fusion
The challenge of aneutronic fusion
  • p-11B is 1000 times more difficult than D-T
    • T is 6 x and 3 electrons/ion n is 0. 05 x , and yield is 1/2  P' is 0.001  V is 1000 x
  • Thermonuclear p-11B tokamak won’t work (physics or economics)
  • What alternatives might exist?
    • Apply to D-T – reduced size and field

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how to lower the fusion threshold

0.2

phys

phys

Q

Q

0.1

200

200

300

300

400

400

500

500

600

600

T

T

How to lower the fusion threshold?
  • Beam-target fusion
    • 100 keV D beam into T plasma
    • More heat than fusion

16 bar

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new idea 1 heat engine power flow
New idea #1: Heat engine power flow

Beam-target

fusion gives

this Qphys ~ 10-20%

Plant engineers see this Qeng ~ 10

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slide6

Plasma Centrifuge Heat Engine for Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor*

Plasma Centrifuge Heat Engine for Continuous Beam Fusion Reactor†

Plasma Centrifuge Heat Engine Beam Fusion Reactor**

*Patent Pending, App. No. 60/596567, USPTO (2005).

† Patent Pending, App. No. 60/766791, USPTO (2006).

**Patent Pending, App. No. 1153471, USPTO (2006).

how to make plasma heat engine
How to make plasma heat engine?
  • Several ways
    • Make “potential field” force on plasma
    • Plasma does work against field, giving mechanical energy to source of field
  • Barnes & Nebel – POPS (1998)
    • Collisionless plasma can oscillate without entropy generation
  • Chacón et al. work (2000)
    • Thermonuclear plasma in equilibrium with low T particle replacement
  • Continuous or oscillating
  • Continuous trap (Pastukov – 1974)

“This result can be understood if one bears in mind that all the energy of an escaping particle consists of transverse motion,…”

If make B 0 at outflow, get low T exhaust!

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how to make plasma heat engine1
How to make plasma heat engine?
  • Centrifugal well created in rotating plasma
    • Make B and r small at ends where particles escape
    • Open field is that outside a field reversed configuration (FRC)

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supersonic rotating plasmas exist
Supersonic rotating plasmas exist

Maryland Centrifugal eXperiment (MCX)

From Ellis, et al.

PSP-2 ½ MV Experiment at Novosibirsk

From Abdrashitov, et al.

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p ches d t reactor
P-CHES D-T reactor
  • High-b and beam-target operation implies low B operation [33 W/cm3 400 MW]

1T

1m

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p ches d t reactor cartoon approximation
P-CHES D-T reactor (cartoon approximation)
  • Toroidal current driven by rotating magnetic field (RMF) with stationary dipole
  • Beam formed by electrostatic acceleration of injected, low-energy particles
    • e.g.Ftrapped = 0.45 W Vtrapped = +200 kV

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p ches on the path to fusion energy
P-CHES on the path to fusion energy
  • Form supersonically rotating FRC
  • Study Tloss/Tcentral show small and dependencies to minimize
  • Raise applied and induced voltage and inject beam to get fusion conditions
  • D-T fusion system
  • p-11B fusion system

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forming rotating frc
Forming rotating FRC
  • New idea #2: Make and use waves with plasma rotation e.g. RMF

From Hoffman, et al.

From Slough and Miller

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forming rotating frc1
Forming rotating FRC

Firing end anodes produces rotating plasma

Rotating plasma “sees” RMF, producing FRC

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summary and future
Summary and future
  • A new paradigm is proposed
    • Beam-target fusion with heat recovered to rotation
    • High efficiency of beam formation from rotation
  • Many advantages
    • Very high power density
    • Required T reduced (500 eV for D-T)
    • Required confinement reduced (< 1 ms for D-T)
    • Static fields, DC operation
  • Extensible to aneutronic systems
  • 2 new ideas suggest a modest experiment
    • Demonstrate formation of rotating FRC
    • Heat engine physics diagnosed if warm FRC produced
  • Propose future study
    • Theory and design
    • Small experiment

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