Yesterday we began the Electrical Generation tests.
To make them we had to pass Spanish Militar police controls due to the Covid quarantine.
it was a very productive day and 6 tests were performed and in the last one, a large capacitor was installed to load and measure the electromagnetic recovery energy of more than 300 volts. We were surprised about so high level values because a 2.2% of the energy was recovered using a small coil. It can be upgraded to recover 5 times more energy and more improvements we hope to recover a lot more
Some energy remains in the capacitor after the test but much lower because the energy was not rectified.
From today, Pulsotron-3 is the first fusion reactor that recovers electric energy directly
In the photo, it was measured the remaining voltage at the capacitor.
As can be seen in the following capture photo the coils must withstand a huge blast and extreme temperatures but they survived.
Also, it was made measurements of the generated magnetic field, but the sensor enclosure was dismantled and it had to be glued (it was unglued in order to have access to the sensor coils).
Now with the two oscilloscopes in parallel and energy recovery coil and all the sensors close to the target, there is very small space for new sensors
It is really difficult to measure magnetic fields exceeding the kilotesla range and current over 100 kiloamps, so a new current & magnetic sensor array was designed, built and installed, but we had a lot of troubles to set all the sensors to a short distance from the target.
Fortunately, a new high-speed scope arrived sorting the blocking of authorities quarantine due to the COVID19 pandemic so with both scopes together we doubled the acquisition capacity.
Also, it was installed new devices to test the direct conversion of the energy to electricity, so a large high voltage film capacitor is connected to an electromagnetic energy recovery coil.
The new scope captured the data very well but the old one not due to an error of the trigger setup, so the new devices could not be tested.
The generating coil was damaged by the test but it was still working.
The new sensor array was damaged but still working. It is due the enclosure was not yet glued until it is tested
It was tried to make a new test, but again the sealing was broken and large internal electrical blasts in the Pulsotron-3 placed it out of service gain.
This is the proposal: a high-pressure line, a low pressure and several electro valves. All can be used at the same sequence but there is a regulator to adjust liters/minute accordingly the patient weight
Tests number S3012-3015 were performed during this week in spite of the coronavirus
The new power supply is not enough stable and was retired. The second one does not give enough current and the 3rd blown 3 of the fuses, I have only one and can not buy more because of the quarantine.
Also, the main dc/dc suffered a short cut and died but that doesn’t matter because the entire arc-sensor where burn and the 4 expensive calibrated PT100 did not survive, but fortunately, they sent valuable information before dying. The short cut of the DC/DC was provoked because the recovered energy voltage was really very high and entered in short-circuit with the DC/DC and the power supply. That is very good notice, so the next tests will be centered on the arc sensor but must survive. The arc sensor can not be reinforced with more robust metal parts in the short term due to querantine restrictions.
New sensors are installed along a robust arc surrounding the target, the main idea is to measure output electromagnetic and optical/particle radiation energy.
In a first test, a high power electromagnetic bilayer plasma expansion was detected.
The optical energy output was very low as long as the copper layer covered the arc did not increase its temperature very much.
Unfortunately, the power supply suffered a short circuit during installation and the fuse was blown. The new power supply does not work and the third does not give enough current, so the test could not be repeated.
In another way, the Miranda reactor structure was finalized
During the 5th test campaign, the array of sensors finally survived the huge explosion generating megabits of data. We will have to automate the reading of them. Next week a second data acquisition equipment will allow us to capture data from another 4 sensors at 1 Giga sample/second, and we hope to install new sensors to measure generated power with or without thermonuclear fuel. In addition, we have received inert gas equipment to work with precision binocular to load fuel in the Argon atmosphere. Another inert gas equipment is manufacturing. Additionally, Miranda reactor components and alpha-particle shielding components have been commissioned. I barely have time to upload a small capture of the last essay but unfortunately is not a very good image to be taken with an old high-speed camera. We are also in negotiations with a German company interested in building targets serially. That could help us to achieve the pressure obtained in the Ivy Mike hydrogen bomb (but with a much lower fuel). In addition, the technological institute that works with us is analyzing the data from the previous tests but the coronavirus is working again that.
Another new is that the Pulsotron-3 was presented in Irin in the Go-Mobility congress in the middle of several coronavirus alerts.
We call it “the sensor destroyer”, as it destroys all unfortunate sensors that try to survive to its powerful plasma ball.
After hard work, it was repaired the Pulsotron-3. Only 2 tests were performed because the sensor optical front-end was removed in the second test and must be repaired.
It was not possible to mount the old sensor array because one of the photodiodes was burned, but still, we will try to replace it.
We tested the Geiger alpha particle sensor and fortunately the measurement is not affected by the electromagnetic shock.
Also, 4 new sensors are building: a new sensor array with an optical front end that will detect the plasma ball size, a second two photodiodes coupled to scintillators, and 2 “arc array” that will measure output power. We will try to measure the increase of the output energy that must be higher with fusion fuel ignition than without fuel. Also, in the arc sensors, a charge sensor must measure incoming charges.
In the second shot (number 3008), the isolation was broken and the small plasma ball generated run away through the transmission line scratching and destroying all its isolation along its path, as can be seen in the images at second and 3rd captions.
Also, the target injector was broken and we could see in the high-speed camera its burning fly. We hope in the future that fewer things are broken.
Here is a photo of Dani making some metal works during the repairings
In the 3rd test campaign, it was made two tests, with great success as it was measured the storage of magnetic energy in the target to allow use it to compress the target to make fusion.
As can be seen in the attached plot in the yellow line it was measured the capacitor bank voltage drop. It can be seen how its discharge 1/2 of the voltage (about a 75% of the energy) in the target before it begins to emit energy es can be seen in the other channels that represents the light acquired by an array of photodiodes pointing using accurate optics to the center of the target and also two longer distances. it can be seen how the plasma ball increasing starting about 1 microsecond after the beginning of the discharge
It was similar to the results obtained in the following 3005 test. Both tests were done with the help of new High Voltage probes.
Also, a better electromagnetic design reduced a lot of electrode erosion.
The new Pulsotron actually generates electromagnetic waves of up to 13 kiloteslas, unfortunately, the waves evaporate insulation parts of the Pulsotron-3, so during the charging of the capacitor bank during the test number 3006, several blasts in three different parts so we had to turn it off. Thanks to several security systems, no one was injured. The main power supply, the measurement systems, and the control system were not affected because we designed a High Voltage unit resistant to short circuits.
In the attached images it was seen in the previous test how a cloud of fire is generated that burns eroded plastics of the internal parts.
Also, it was obtained from a laboratory camera an image of one of the internal blast
Actually the team is working hard to make Pulsotron-3 in service as fast as possible. This problem and the problems we had before allows us to learn and improve a lot the z-pinch technology use to build a working electric generator as fast as possible
Targets 3001-3003 were tested. The main idea is to check if the plasma ball is contained inside the reaction chamber enough time to make ignition. Also, it was checked two sensors.
It was built carefully an array of photodiodes and electrical power of them carefully inserted in optical parts aligned with the plasma ball to measure accurately the expansion of the plasma ball. The whole system was mounted inside a small structure made in a 3-d injection machine. To maintain that instrument close to the plasma ball a structure was mounted, we name it “diagnostic tower”. Unfortunately, in the first shot, the 3-d injection enclosure was destroyed and blown away in less than 50 microseconds, as can be seen in the high-speed video captures:
But it was a disaster as we needed the plasma ball expansion data, so we had to improvise, so we used a similar instrument made for Pulsotron-2, fortunately, its batteries still worked, then a new diagnostic tower was made in a hurry cutting extruded aluminum profiles. In the shot 3002, the old sensors were exposed to a lot higher light levels than the Pulsotron-2, so they were saturated, so it was increased the scope scale and tested again in test 3003 that was successful.
After the tests several megabytes of sensor data are now being processing
A new borosilicate body arrived at the laboratory. It was built in a Sevilla specialized company. Actually we are building coils to be attached to the new reactor body. The coils will be connected to the main capacitor bank using some of the most powerful Silicon Carbide SCRs built especially for us in a Chinese company