July 16, 2015

LPP Fusion has resumed dense plasma fusion test firing now using the new tungsten electrode

The Tungsten electrode has been attached and tests shots are being made with the LPP Fusion dense plasma fusion experiments.

The connection of the Tungsten electrode show extremely low electrical resistance, no more at any point than 18 micro-ohms, and good mechanical strength. This ensures that the cathode can safely take up to 1.6 MA of current, enough for the planned experiments.

With just a dozen shots performed so far, they can draw only very preliminary conclusions from our results. The first is that impurities do indeed seem to have dropped significantly with the new electrodes—the first main goal of the new experiments. Impurities appear to be the basic obstacle to high fusion yields, as they disrupt the filaments that are the first stage of compression of the plasma. The optical spectra obtained in the new experiments show peaks at wavelengths characteristic of tungsten, but at roughly ten times less abundance than the copper and silver impurities seen in shots with the old electrodes.

While a tenfold reduction in impurities—to about one impurity ion for 500 deuterium ions—is a good start, it is not what Lerner calculated would be needed to preserve the filaments, nor what theory and previous experiments indicate can be achieved. For that, a 50-100 fold reduction in impurities is required, or 5-10 times less impurity than that has been achieved so far. Indeed, the initial results show the same symptoms of impurity—an “early beam” before the main pinch, and a slower motion of the current sheath, as had been observed with the old electrodes, although the early beam seems much smaller in the new shots. Given continued impurities, it is no surprise that fusion yields of about 1/8 of joule of energy are no higher than the best results observed with copper electrodes.

A possible source of inpurities might be a very thin layer of tungsten oxide—too thin to be seen or removed during the electrodes’ cleaning. Tungsten oxide dissociates at 1970 C, far below tungsten’s vaporization point of 5500 C, so an oxide layer will be far more fragile. The oxide layer might well give rise to the tungsten in the plasma as well. If this is the case, repeated firing will burn the oxide layer off and impurities will fall.

There are some hints that this may be happening, as x-ray emission and the pressure “pop” are falling as fusion yields are rising over the course of the first shots. But only more firing will confirm or refute this idea. The research team expects that as kinks are worked out of the system, firing will proceed more quickly, eventually reaching a goal of about 30 shots per week.

Delays with the Tungsten electrode have out LPP Fusion 3-5 months behind the planned 2015 schedule

LPP Fusion published their scheduled plans for 2015

LPP Fusion Plans for 2015:
As in previous years we emphasize that our plans require adequate financing. They also depend
on critical suppliers coming through on time and within specifications. However we are confident
that the tungsten cathode will arrive soon, and we are planning a backup monolithic copper
cathode as well. Our main goal for this year remains to increase the density of the plasmoid, the
tiny ball of plasma where reactions take place, the third and last condition needed to achieve net
energy production.

January-March: Now June-August
1. We will complete our computer upgrade and the creation of our Processed Data Base, a powerful
tool for analyzing our data.
2. We will install our new tungsten electrode and perform experiments that we expect will
a) Increase density about 100-fold to around 40 milligrams/ cm³
b) Increase yield more than 100- fold to above 15 J
c) Demonstrate the effect of the axial field coil
d) Demonstrate the positive effects of mixing in somewhat heavier gases, such as nitrogen

April-June: now probably August to November
1. Move to shorter electrodes

1. Implement our improved connections and demonstrate peak currents above 2 MA
2. Increase density to over 0.1 grams/cm³

October-December - only if they can run experiments in parallel but likely Q1 or Q2 of 2016

1. Move to beryllium electrodes, or at least beryllium anode, which will be needed as x-ray emission increases so much that tungsten electrodes would be cracked by the heat absorbed. Beryllium is far more transparent to x-rays.
2. Demonstrate density over 1 gram/ cm³
3. Demonstrate billion-Gauss magnetic fields
4. Demonstrate the quantum magnetic field effect with these billion-Gauss magnetic fields; show its ability to prevent plasmoid cooling caused by x-rays, making possible the net energy burning of pB11 fuel.
5. Install new equipment and begin running with pB11 mixes

Summary of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics

LPP needed to get their Tungsten electrode and then later switch to a berrylium electrode.

If successful with their research and then commercialization they will achieve commercial nuclear fusion at the cost of $400,000-1 million for a 5 megawatt generator that would produce power for about 0.3 cents per kwh instead of 6 cents per kwh for coal and natural gas.

LPP’s mission is the development of a new environmentally safe, clean, cheap and unlimited energy source based on hydrogen-boron fusion and the dense plasma focus device, a combination we call Focus Fusion.

This work was initially funded by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is now backed by over forty private investors including the Abell Foundation of Baltimore. LPP’s patented technology and peer-reviewed science are guiding the design of this technology for this virtually unlimited source of clean energy that can be significantly cheaper than any other energy sources currently in use. Non-exclusive licenses to government agencies and manufacturing partners will aim to ensure rapid adoption of Focus Fusion generators as the primary source of electrical power worldwide.


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