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Initial Results of FRC Merging and Compression on the Pulsed High Density FRC Experiment

Author: Samuel P Andreason
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2011-06-10 17:48:57

Co-authors: J.T.Slough, C.J.Pihl

Contact Info:
University of Washington - PDL
15125 NE 90th ST
Redmond, WA   98052

Abstract Text:
The original experimental work on the Pulsed High Density Experiment (PHD) was focused on generating a single Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) with sufficient lifetime, temperature and flux to reach fusion conditions after magneto-kinetic compression. Dynamic formation was shown to produce rapidly translating FRCs with suitable characteristics. Even at reduced power, target parameters with equilibrium temperatures of 400 eV or 17 mWb of flux were achieved. A long lived FRC equilibrium phase was observed for these FRCs during translation through a drift chamber and reflection off of a downstream mirror. Current work focuses on merging two FRCs at this scale (80 cm source sections).
With the initial startup aspect of the PHD concept tested, the next step for the program was to demonstrate the compression of this FRC to higher temperatures and densities. Based on the successful merging and compression experiments on the IPA device at smaller scale, a modification of the PHD device into a double ended system was completed. This approach met with some significant success as FRCs were formed and merged into coherent plasmoids.
The available ‘good’ operating regime for this much larger device was very limited due to the relatively low Eθ of approximately 10 kV/m. A sufficiently high Eθ (20-25 kV/m) is necessary to dynamically form and accelerate the FRC to achieve the requisite supersonic velocity for good thermal conversion during merging. Toward that end the energy storage modules and formation coils are being reassembled into a +/- paralleled “½” turn configuration. A redesign of the collector plates, and cabling are currently in progress, and the field reversal coils are being modified to a split feed (effectively half turn) bi-fed design. The redesign should result in the ability to operate at up to 25 kV/m in the formation sections with a slightly lower peak field for translation. A review of the new design and results from initial testing will be presented. Calculations of the expected performance enhancement have been carried out with both the Moqui and NIMROD codes. The results from these calculations will also be discussed.

Characterization: C


University of Washington

Workshop on Innovation in Fusion Science (ICC2011) and
US-Japan Workshop on Compact Torus Plasma
August 16-19, 2011
Seattle, Washington

ICC 2011