A Quest For Sustainable Energy
At General Atomics's Fusion Energy Research Facility in San Diego, California, Alex Nagy and a team of researchers are studying nuclear fusion as a potential electrical energy source. One of the basic challenges to this research is developing an energy-efficient method of plasma containment and stabilization.
When it becomes unstable, the plasma can develop bulges on its surface that move towards the vessel wall. To solve this problem, researchers use internal coils to create magnetic fields in short bursts that follow the plasma bulge as it rotates around the torus. These bursts push the bulge inward and smooth the outer confining surface of the plasma.
The quicker the magnetic field can respond to the bulge the smalller the correction needed. Previous power supplies were limited to 300 microsecond internal response times and required large amounts of energy to run. When the internal controls were changed to AE Techron's 7782 amplifiers, magnetic field response times fell to as low as 30 milliseconds. These faster response times reduced the power required to control the plasma by 66%.
For this application, eight AE Techron 7782's have been coupled together in Parallel Mode to generate approximately 1700 amperes of current between DC and 5 kHz.
General Atomics' Nuclear Fusion Research Project is just one example of the exciting applications that AE Techron amplifiers are used for. To learn more about the research being conducted at General Atomics, check out their website. For more information about AE Techron amplifiers, visit our Products page.