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The first of LPP Fusion’s new tungsten electrodes, the anode, or inner electrodes, is now complete and has arrived at our Middlesex, NJ lab May 9. The electrode will contribute to greatly reducing the impurities that have prevented high density in our fusion-generating plasmoids. First, it connects to the rest of the circuit outside the vacuum chamber, eliminating any possibly of internal arcing. Second, it is made of pure tungsten, a material that far better resists vaporization than our old copper electrodes.
The much larger and more complex outer electrode, or cathode, is being machined into shape at NJ Precision Machining and is now expected to be finished by late June.
The new tungsten electrodes will cut way down on several main mechanisms for this vaporization, but the LPPFusion team identified a mechanism that the tungsten by itself won’t stop – runaway electrons. Now, experiments performed by LPP Fusion collaborators at the Plasma Physics Research Center in Tehran have shown that simply increasing the pressure of the gas in the vacuum chamber can stop the runaways, as theoretical calculations had predicted. This gives assurance that this source of erosion too can be stopped in the new FF-1 tests.
Eric Lerner explains why their approach will make energy ten times cheaper than coal or natural gas electricity and why it will work
The FF-1 team has implemented a second way to stop the runaways with pre-ionization. Here a small pulse of electricity smoothes the way for the much larger flow, getting rid of the high fields that lead to runaways. So we’ll have defense in depth with two complementary methods when experiments re-start.
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