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Title: Inductively Driven, 3D Liner Compression of a Magnetized Plasma to Megabar Energy Densities

To take advantage of the smaller scale, higher density regime of fusion an efficient method for achieving the compressional heating required to reach fusion gain conditions must be found. What is proposed is a more flexible metallic liner compression scheme that minimizes the kinetic energy required to reach fusion. It is believed that it is possible to accomplish this at sub-megajoule energies. This however will require operation at very small scale. To have a realistic hope of inexpensive, repetitive operation, it is essential to have the liner kinetic energy under a megajoule which allows for the survivability of the vacuum and power systems. At small scale the implosion speed must be reasonably fast to maintain the magnetized plasma (FRC) equilibrium during compression. For limited liner kinetic energy, it becomes clear that the thinnest liner imploded to the smallest radius consistent with the requirements for FRC equilibrium lifetime is desired. The proposed work is directed toward accomplishing this goal. Typically an axial (Z) current is employed for liner compression. There are however several advantages to using a θ-pinch coil. With the θ-pinch the liner currents are inductively driven which greatly simplifies the apparatus and vacuum system, and avoids difficulties with themore » post implosion vacuum integrity. With fractional flux leakage, the foil liner automatically provides for the seed axial compression field. To achieve it with optimal switching techniques, and at an accelerated pace however will require additional funding. This extra expense is well justified as the compression technique that will be enabled by this funding is unique in the ability to implode individual segments of the liner at different times. This is highly advantageous as the liner can be imploded in a manner that maximizes the energy transfer to the FRC. Production of shaped liner implosions for additional axial compression can thus be readily accomplished with the modified power modules. The additional energy and switching capability proposed will thus provide for optimal utilization of the liner energy. The following tasks were outlined for the three year effort: (1) Design and assemble the foil liner compression test structure and chamber including the compression bank and test foils [Year 1]. (2) Perform foil liner compression experiments and obtain performance data over a range on liner dimensions and bank parameters [Year 2]. (3) Carry out compression experiments of the FRC plasma to Megagauss fields and measure key fusion parameters [Year 3]. (4) Develop numerical codes and analyze experimental results, and determine the physics and scaling for future work [Year 1-3]. The principle task of the project was to design and assemble the foil liner FRC formation chamber, the full compression test structure and chamber including the compression bank. This task was completed successfully. The second task was to test foils in the test facility constructed in year one and characterize the performance obtained from liner compression. These experimental measurements were then compared with analytical predictions, and numerical code results. The liner testing was completed and compared with both the analytical results as well as the code work performed with the 3D structural dynamics package of ANSYS Metaphysics®. This code is capable of modeling the dynamic behavior of materials well into the non-linear regime (e.g. a bullet hit plate glass). The liner dynamic behavior was found to be remarkably close to that predicted by the 3D structural dynamics results. Incorporating a code that can also include the magnetics and plasma physics has also made significant progress at the UW. The remaining test bed construction and assembly task is was completed, and the FRC formation and merging experiments were carried out as planned. The liner compression of the FRC to Megagauss fields was not performed due to not obtaining a sufficiently long lived FRC during the final year of the grant. Modifications planned to correct this deficiency included a larger FRC source as well as a much larger liner driver energy storage system. Due to discontinuation of the grant neither of these improvements were carried out.« less
  1. MSNW LLC, Redmond, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
MSNW LLC, Redmond, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; Fusion; plasma; liner; FRC; magneto-inertial fusion; inductive drive