Abstract Details

barnestalk.pdf2006-02-20 12:38:04Dan Barnes

Plasma Centrifuge Heat Engine – a Route to Non-thermal p-11B Fusion

Author: Dan C Barnes
Submitted: 2006-01-03 17:16:42


Contact Info:
Coronado Consulting
560 E. Coronado Rd.
Santa Fe, NM   87505

Abstract Text:
A magnetic confinement invention[1,2], combining features of centrifugal and dipole confinement, and borrowing from recent oscillating plasma theory[3], is described. Centrifugal confinement produces compression/expansion (C/E) parallel to B and varying B produces C/E perpendicular to B (by mu-conservation). The C/E provides a thermal cycle independent of collisions which allows a large part ( > 95%) of plasma heating to be recovered as mechanical energy. This recovery acts as a “Q-amplifier? for non-thermal systems. One possible approach uses oscillating plasmas[1]. A second, preferred approach[2], described in some detail, uses slow, cross-B interchange transport to accomplish the C/E. A centrifugally confined Boron plasma close to marginal stability undergoes C/E by weak interchange activity. Parallel and perpendicular C/E are matched by tailoring the rotation profile. Heat is delivered to hot plasma and preferentially (essentially only) removed from cold, expanded plasma. Beam-target fusion reactions occur in the hot plasma region and the expansion returns most of the heat energy as rotation energy. The rotation energy, in turn, is used to produce waves which drive protons to the ~600 keV energy near the fusion peak cross section. Thus, most of the rotation energy flows around the cycle of: 1) conversion to waves; 2) absorption of these waves on protons to produce a 600 keV beam; 3) beam-target fusion at Q0 ~ 5-10%; meaning that 4) 90-95% proton slowing power appears as heating of a hot Boron plasma; 4) expansion of this heated plasma to give back rotation energy. The small portion of this recycled energy lost from the expanded plasma is replaced by external DC power which provides a torque to maintain the rotation. Only the hot plasma requires rotation drive, with the remaining plasma rotation passively driven by viscosity. Thus, DC is applied at a fraction of the total voltage. Fusion products (alpha-particles) are directed to grounded, end regions, where high-T thermal cycles or direct conversion may be applied. The physical principles of each major component of this concept are developed. Scaling indicates required parameters. One design point has B ~ 5 T, R ~ 1 m, a ~ 0.2-1m, and a total voltage of ~ 1.5 MV. Details of a possible machine, including the arrangement of magnets and HV, are given.

[1]D. C. Barnes, “Plasma Centrifuge Heat Engine for Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor?, US Patent Pending, Application No. 60/596,567, US Patent and Trademark Office (2005).
[2]D. C. Barnes, “Continuous Centrifuge Heat Engine for Beam Fusion Reactor?, US Patent application in process (2006).
[3]D. C. Barnes and R. A. Nebel, Phys. Plasmas 5, 2498 (1998); R. A. Nebel and D. C. Barnes, Fusion Tech. 34, 28 (1998); R. A. Nebel and J. M. Finn, Phys. Plasmas 7, 839 (2000).

Characterization: D


The University of Texas at Austin

Innovative Confinement Concepts Workshop
February 13-16, 2006
Austin, Texas

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