The Multiphase Nuclear Fusion Reactor is comprised of a plurality of out-of-phase and coaxially disposed coils for producing radially and axially helicoidal moving forces toward each extremity of a reaction chamber surrounded by static magnetic fields. Whereby charged particles are accelerated and trapped axially by the helicoidal moving forces and confined radially by the static magnetic fields until fusion occurs impelling byproducts longitudinally to work against alternating magnetic fields for transferring energy to the system while slowing down to be neutralized and further recycled. The coaxially disposed coils can be comprised either by concentric solenoids, or by inline stators axially and radially out-of-phase with each other. It can further comprise spaced-apart multi-pole magnets at each end of the reaction chamber to make beams denser radially, and electrostatic generator to provide extra acceleration. Residual waste heat can be converted directly into electricity by forcing hot coolant to impel ions against electric/magnetic fields.
Fusion Reactor - helix-coils - Video
Fusion Reactor - resonator - Video
Nuclear fusion takes place by combining light nuclei together, overcoming the Coulomb barrier, to form heavier nuclei releasing a tremendous amount of energy in the form of fast moving particles. Nuclear fusion has a vast energy density gain of fuel when compared to chemical combustion energy and also is far cleaner and safer than plutonium-239, thorium-232, and uranium-235, i.e., unlike nuclear fission, the fusion produces no long-lived radioactive waste in case of deuterium-tritium and is virtually neutron-free in case of helium-3 and p-B11 fusion.
In the early ages of nuclear physics, most of the nuclear fusion reactions were discovered by using electrostatic generators (Cockcroft-Walton Multiplier, Van de Graaff, and Pelletron).
Heretofore, there have been several approaches to try to harness fusion reaction for electricity production: Tokamak, Levitated Dipole, Riggatron, Field-Reversed Configuration, Reversed Field Pinch, Magnetic Mirror Fusion Reactor, Spheromak, Laser Fusion, Z-machine, MagLIF, Focus Fusion, Farnsworth–Hirsch Fusor, Bussard Polywell, Muon-catalyzed Fusion, Heavy Ion Fusion, Magnetized Target Fusion, Colliding Plasma Toroid Fusion, Cold Fusion, Sonofusion, Pyroelectric Fusion, Astron, Tri Alpha Energy, Helion Energy, Beam Fusion, General Fusion, Migma, and others.
Most of the mainstream fusion reactors, e.g. ITER and NIF, remain decades away from the practicality due to awesome energy required for barely reaching 5keV. Most of the fusion reactors are big energy devours because they use inefficient methods like magnetic compression and lasers, or work by repeated startups and shutdowns (pulsed mode) which cause enormous energy losses putting almost all of them very far from the breakeven point.
The FRC (field-reversed configuration) fusion reactors are essentially pulsed plasmoid colliders, i.e. pulsed single-phase instead of multiphase. In some FRC versions (US application: 20050249324, 20120031070), Rotating Magnetic Field (RMF), sometimes referred as Rotamak, is employed to form and sustain the plasmoid. The "rotating" radial magnetic field is generated by an orthogonal set of coils excited by radio frequency power, phased in quadrature. Therefore, it produces only rotating, but not both moving and rotating magnetic fields, and not helicoidal moving fields.
Up to this time, before this disclosure, there was no nuclear fusion reactor designed for using multiphase alternating currents to produce both radially and axially moving magnetic fields in order to harness fusion energy in a more efficient way to exceed the breakeven point to become capable of producing cost-effective electrical power. As will be further detailed, a major innovation of the present invention over all prior art is the use of both rotating and moving magnetic fields produced by out-of-phase electrical currents flowing through concentric coils in order to both accelerate and confine the plasma.
The object of the present invention is to provide a method and apparatus technologically and economically feasible to harness fusion energy in a highly energy-efficient way in order to surpass the breakeven point releasing more energy than it consumes due to wise use of low-power-consumption techniques, therefore achieving a net energy gain becoming self-sustainable to make available large amounts of electric power.
The present invention provides a method and apparatus using coaxially disposed coils feed by out-of-phase electrical currents to produce phase-shifting/moving magnetic fields toward each end of a superconducting electromagnet. Plasma fusion fuels are accelerated by the moving magnetic fields to collide with each other in the electromagnet bore wherein the plasma is confined radially by the magnetic fields and trapped longitudinally by the moving magnetic fields until fusion reaction takes place impelling the fusion byproducts outwardly to be forced to work against alternating electromagnetic fields slowing down while converting kinetic energy directly into electric power. The coaxially disposed coils can be comprised either by concentric helix-coils, or by inline stators axially and radially out-of-phase with each other. Additionally, an electrostatic generator can be used to surround the superconducting electromagnet with electric fields to give extra acceleration, and spaced-apart quadrupole magnets, rotated 90° from each other, can be disposed at each end of the superconducting electromagnet to cause strong focusing for increasing the radial pressure hereby enhancing the fusion reaction rate.
In the following will be described at least two different practical workable embodiments of this invention.
A preferred embodiment is shown in FIG. 1, comprised by a magnet 7 with its left extremity/opening having a multiphase accelerator 1, a set of ion sources 18 and a set of electron guns 19 radially disposed, an energy converter 20, and multistage collectors 21; and at right extremity similarly to the left extremity: respectively, a multiphase accelerator 2, ion sources 12, electron guns 98, energy converter 13 and multistage collectors 14.
A preferred arrangement for generating rotating and moving magnetic fields inside the multiphase accelerator 1 (FIG. 1), resulting in helicoidal moving force toward the bore of magnet 7, is shown in FIG. 2, the arrangement is comprised by six concentric solenoids (helix-coils) 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, and 76, axially rotated 60° from each other and feed by six phases [0° 60° 120° 180° 240° 300°]. An alternative arrangement for generating helicoidal moving force is shown in FIG. 3, comprised by six conventional stators 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, and 82, fed with electrical currents 60° out-of-phase with each other, wherein each stator is comprised by six conventional poles(coils/windings) 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, and 88, also 60° out-of-phase with each other. A frontal view of FIG. 3 is shown in FIG. 4 wherein the stator, due to phase variation on its poles, produces radially the rotating magnetic fields, and also each stator (FIG. 3) is out-of-phase with each other and produces axially the moving magnetic fields hereby resulting in a unidirectional helicoidal force.
In the multiphase coils (FIG. 2 and FIG. 3), the sequenced pattern of phase-shifted oscillations radially produces rotating magnetic fields similarly to a conventional rotating AC motor, and also longitudinally (or axially) produce moving magnetic fields similarly to a conventional linear AC motor, resulting in spiraling force around and along its longitudinal axis creating an unidirectional drag force. Wherein due to out-of-phase electrical currents, the electric power (flow of energy) is more continuous/constant, and the sequential phase variation keeps the plasma of charged particles more centered and produces a more unidirectional force.
In comparison to the Linacs, the multiphase accelerator: shorter with much more torque, rotating and moving magnetic fields instead of EM waves, polyphasic instead of single-phase, can both accelerate and confine unidirectionally and radially a plasma of charged particles, and the speed of the moving magnetic forces can be calculated and adjusted for maximum power transference.
The multiphase coils are more reactive than just resistive, i.e., can both accelerate (transferring energy to the plasma of charged particles) and decelerate (receiving energy from fast particles coming from the opposite direction of moving magnetic fields), because magnetic fields exert forces on moving charges F=q(v × B) and vice-versa. Just like an AC motor that can behave as AC generator and vice-versa.
A cross-section taken of the multiphase accelerator 1 and the energy converter 20 (FIG. 1) is shown in FIG. 5, in order to better illustrate the multiphase coils 71 enclosed by periodic permanent magnets 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, also multiphase coils 5 enclosed by periodic permanents 45 of the energy converter 20, and the multistage collectors 21, 11, 3, 89, 90, 91, coaxially aligned and spaced apart by electrical insulators 60. The periodic permanent magnets (PPM) (NS SN NS SN NS SN) are optional in order to strengthen the radial containment of the multiphase coils over charged fusion particles. The two set of multiphase coils 71 and 5 are similar, except one is to accelerate the fusion fuel and other is to decelerate the fusion byproducts for energy conversion.
An alternative embodiment is shown in FIG. 6, which is similar to the preferred embodiment (FIG. 1) except the magnet 7 has attached sets of quadrupoles 15 at its extremities that are coaxially aligned and 90° rotated from each other and spaced apart by electrical insulators 16, more an armature 9 to sustain the assembly, an electrostatic generator 4, a motor-generator shaft 8 to power the magnet, an optical fiber 17 to control and monitor the magnet. The multiphase accelerators are externally connected to the armature and aimed toward the quadrupoles and the magnet bore.
Regarding the ionization, the preferred embodiment (FIG. 1) is to work either with neutral or with non-neutral plasma while the alternative embodiment (FIG. 6) is to work better with non-neutral plasma having a predefined charge-to-mass ratio. A small disadvantage of non-neutral plasma is that its charge-to-mass ratio must be as low as possible in order to keep it in a quasi-neutral state which requires stronger electric fields to be accelerated and stronger magnetic fields to be confined, and a big advantage of non-neutral plasma is that it still remains confined by electric/magnetic fields even at very low temperatures, i.e. no trouble regarding recombination, do not disassemble above a pressure limit, no confinement failure.
A continuation of the embodiment of FIG. 6 is shown in FIG. 7, further illustrating four supporters 37 on a base 68 to sustain the armature 9, a 3-phase transformer 40, a battery bank 41, a power supply 42, a pile of HV power supplies 43 connected via bus wires 58 to the multistage collectors 21, a vacuum pump 38 connected to the bore of magnet 7 via pipe 39, a fuel recycler 36 connected to the ion guns 12 via fuel pipe 69, a byproducts pipe 59 connecting the multistage collectors 14 to the fuel recycler.
The vacuum pump 38 is to keep the magnet bore in a very low pressure, 10⁻⁷ Torr or lower. However, the space between the armature and the reactor core (electromagnet, quadrupoles, and insulators) can be either empty vacuum or filled with an insulating gas (N₂, CO₂, SF₆).
The quadrupole magnet 15 is better illustrated in FIG. 8, comprised by four windings 22, 23, 25, 26, respectively with magnetic polarities N, S, N, and S.
A hexapole magnet is illustrated in FIG. 9, comprised by six windings 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, respectively with magnetic polarities N, S, N, S, N, and S.
A cross-section taken of FIG. 6 is shown in FIG. 10, illustrating just the magnet 7, a retractile rod 27 close to the wall of the magnet bore, the quadrupoles 29, 15, 32, and 34, which are 90° rotated from each other and spaced apart by the electrical insulators 30, 28, 16, 31, 33, and 35, coaxially disposed along the magnet axis. The magnet bore can be coated with an alternate layer of tungsten and boron carbide (W/B₄C) to act as an X-ray mirror for reflecting electromagnetic radiation back to plasma thereby increasing fusion rate. All electrical insulators in this disclosure can be preferably made of boron nitride due to its excellent thermal properties and dielectric strength (6MV/m).
Strong focusing is the net effect on a charged beam passing through alternating field gradients (magnetic cusps) which makes the ion beam more convergent increasing the fusion reaction rate. The quadrupole magnets 29, 15, 32 and 34 (FIG. 10), are to perform strong focusing ideal to strengthen the radial pressure of ion beams. Other multipole lenses can be used such as hexapole (FIG. 9), and octupole, but quadrupole (FIG. 8), despite having a higher chromatic dispersion, is the one with the smallest aperture, an optimal choice to increase the fusion reaction rate.
Just for clarification, the stator of FIG. 4 seems to be almost similar the hexapole of FIG. 9, but the stator (US patent: 381968, 416194) is comprised by windings/coils feed by out-of-phase alternating currents while the hexapole (US patent: 2736799, 3831121) can be either comprised by permanent magnets or windings/coils feed by continuous currents. Succinctly, the stator is to produce rotating/moving magnetic fields while the hexapole is to produce static magnetic fields.
The electrostatic generator 4 (FIG. 6), disposed between the armature 9 and the magnet 7, should have low power consumption and generate very high voltages, it can be a Van de Graaff, a Pelletron, or even a Cockcroft-Walton Multiplier.
The magnet 7 (FIG. 6) can be preferably a superconducting electromagnet in order to produce a very strong magnetic field by just consuming few kilowatts. Due to high electrical potential difference inside the armature, the superconducting electromagnet 7 can be powered by a motor-generator set, motor at the armature 9 and generator at the magnet 7, interconnected via electrically insulated shaft 8, and the electromagnet can be monitored and controlled via optical fiber 17; optical fiber is preferably due to its high electrical insulation and immunity to electromagnetic interferences.
Before startup, or in case of ionic saturation, the electrostatic generator can be turned off, or the retractile rod 27 (FIG. 10) can be pushed to neutralize any remaining ions in the reactor core and then pulled back, so that the vacuum pump can clean up the reactor core to get rid of the excess of ions.
A continuation of the embodiment of FIG. 7 is shown in FIG. 11, further including a heat recovering system comprised of a Multiphase Thermoelectric Converter(PCT/IB2011/054511) 48, a pump 99, valves 46 and 47, a heat sink 44, an ionizer 49, hot pipes 50, 52, and 55 for conducting hot coolant from the reactor core and its peripherals toward the ionizer; the hot ionized coolant is forced to work against electric/magnetic fields inside the converter transferring energy to the system while cooling down to be finally neutralized on multistage collectors 6. Cold pipes 51, 53, and 54, are for conducting the coolant to the magnet 7, cryocooler 10, and the energy converters 13 and 20, in order to cool down the reactor core and its peripherals. The working fluid (coolant) can be preferably helium due to its low tendency to absorb neutrons. Bus wires 56 and 57 are for connecting the multistage collectors 21 and 14 of the fusion reactor to multistage collectors 6 of the multiphase thermoelectric converter and consequently, to the HV power supplies 43 via the bus wires 58.
A perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 11 is shown in FIG. 12, and in FIG. 13 is shown a building 70, having an entrance 67, enclosing the embodiment of FIG. 12, and the heat sink 44 is at the top of the building in order to dissipate any residual waste heat.
An alternative embodiment is shown in FIG. 14, which is similar to FIG. 6 except it has energy converters with conventional klystrons 100 and 101 instead of multiphase coils, and also its operation is similar to the embodiment FIG. 1 and FIG. 6 that will be further explained.
A schematic diagram of the basic electric circuit of power supply 42 (FIG. 7) is shown in FIG. 15, illustrating a three-phase rectifier bridge comprised by six diodes D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, and D6, a three-phase inverter comprised by six IGBTs Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, and Q6, three-phase pulse circuits P1, P2, and P3, phased 120° from each other, driving respectively gate circuit pairs G1/G2, G3/G4, GD5/GD6 for synchronously switching the IGBTs; the battery bank 41, a clock generator 112, main optical emitter 111 and a three-phase primary winding 117 of the transformer 40 (FIG. 7).
A schematic diagram of one of the HV power supplies 43 (FIG. 7) is shown in FIG. 16, illustrating a three-phase rectifier bridge comprised by six diodes D7, D8, D9, D10, D11, and D12, a three-phase inverter comprised by six IGBTs Q7, Q8, Q9, Q10, Q11, and Q12, three-phase pulse circuits P4, P5, and P6, phased 120° from each other, driving respectively gate circuit pairs G7/G8, G9/G10, GD11/GD12 for synchronously switching the IGBTs; a capacitor C1, a voltage divider comprised by R3 and R2, a positive terminal 115, a negative terminal 114 that is connected to the ion beam collector, an optical receiver 116, and a three-phase secondary winding 113 of the transformer 40 (FIG. 7). The optical emitter 111 (FIG. 15) sends the timing signal, produced by the clock generator 112, to all HV power supplies via optical fibers to be received by their respective optical receivers 116, keeping the three-phase system perfectly synchronized for multidirectional flow of energy. Alternatively, other switched-mode topologies, other semiconductor devices such as MOSFET, GTO, SCR, can be used instead of IGBT; three-phase can be split into six-phase by using center-tapped windings.
Another alternative embodiment to FIG. 1 is shown in FIG. 17, and its frontal view is shown in FIG. 20, which is similar to the preferred embodiment (FIG. 1) regarding usage of multiphase accelerator and energy converter, except it is comprised by a set of fourteen energy converters and multiphase accelerators 102 disposed around a truncated octahedron 104, and plasma sources 103 can be used instead of ion sources. The truncated octahedron is internally comprised by eight magnets with bore on its inner hexagonal faces for generating normal magnetic fields in the openings of eight hexagonal faces and quadrupole fields in six square faces.
The truncated octahedron 104 is better illustrated in FIG. 18, showing its square face 105 and its hexagonal face 106, where all faces have circular openings.
A frontal cross-section view of the truncated octahedron is illustrated in FIG. 19 showing four of its eight internal magnets 107, 108, 109 and 110, respectively with magnetic polarities N, S, N, and S; the remaining internal magnets are at the opposite side respectively with complementary magnetic polarities S, N, S, and N, in a way to form quadrupole fields in the four square faces wherein the quadrupole fields in each square face are rotated 90°, in quadrature, with their respective opposite face for causing strong focusing.
A basic operation can be better understood from the FIG. 1 in where the magnet 7 generates open ended and quasi-static/steady-state magnetic fields, and the multiphase accelerators 1 and 2 generate rotating and moving magnetic fields resulting in helicoidal force toward the bore of the magnet, wherein ions (plasma of charged particles) are confined radially by the static magnetic fields and trapped axially by the moving magnetic forces. The ion sources 12 and 18 ionize the fusion fuel to be accelerated by the multiphase accelerators in the direction of the magnet bore for colliding with each other until fusion reactions take place impelling the electrically charged fusion byproducts to run away longitudinally outwardly toward the energy converters 13 and 20 to be forced to work against alternating electromagnetic fields for transferring energy to the system while slowing down for landing smoothly on the multistage collectors 14 and 21 to be neutralized and collected for subsequently to be recycled to recover the unburned fuel in order to maximize the fuel usage.
In the magnet bore, the charged particles move longitudinally describing a circular and helical orbit around the magnetic field lines keeping away from the magnet walls. In the same way, the resulting charged fusion byproducts are confined radially by the magnetic fields. The magnetic fields can withstand very high-temperature ion plasma (r=mv/qB), which prevent the plasma from touching on the inner walls of the electromagnet.
It is needed high-energy collisions to overcome the Coulomb repulsion between two charged atomic nuclei, and scattering may occur because charged particles just bounce off each other; however, in few micrograms of fusion fuel there are trillions and trillions of atomic nuclei, and also free electrons that can decrease the Coulomb repulsion, then fusion reactions are far more likely to take place.
A basic operation of the multiphase accelerator in generating rotating and moving magnetic fields, resulting in helicoidal moving force, can be better understood from the FIG. 2 wherein each coil 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, and 76, are fed by alternating electric currents with phase angles 60° apart, respectively 0°, 60°, 120°, 180°, 240°, and 300°, wherein the sequenced pattern of phase-shifted oscillations radially produce rotating magnetic fields similarly to a conventional rotating AC motor, and longitudinally (or axially) produce moving magnetic fields similarly to a conventional linear AC motor, resulting in spiraling electromagnetic force along its longitudinal axis creating an unidirectional moving force. The moving and rotating magnetic fields' torque is quickly transferred to the ions. The unidirectional moving force generated by the multiphase coils continuously impels charged particles from the ion sources 18 (FIG. 5) toward the reaction chamber (magnet bore), and also the moving forces generated at each extremity/opening of the magnet bore (FIG. 1) confine longitudinally the charged particles in the reaction chamber. The phase rotation keeps the plasma centered which can be even more enhanced with the periodic permanent magnets 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, and 97 (FIG. 5).
Another way of generating both rotating and moving magnetic fields can be better understood from the FIG. 3 wherein each conventional stator is 60° out-of-phase with each other and also each pole is 60° out-of-phase with each other, for radially producing rotating magnetic fields and longitudinally producing moving magnetic fields, also resulting in helicoidal moving force just in one direction.
The frequency of the alternating electric currents out-of-phase with each other flowing through the multiphase coils can be calculated and adjusted for controlling the speed of the moving magnetic fields in order to achieve maximum energy transfer to the plasma of charged particles.
Longitudinal and radial velocity of the moving force, for example:
|vL=180 *103 m/s||vr=376.99 *103 m/s|
It is preferable to use one pole per phase p=1 [0° 60° 120° 180° 240° 300°]. Another option is to use two pole per phase p=2 [0° 120° 240° 0° 120° 240°] which decreases radial and longitudinal velocities (vr=2πrf/p) (vL=Lf/p) and increases radial aperture/opening which can be useful for very ionized gases.
It is widely known that: moving charges cause magnetic fields; magnetic fields exert forces on moving charges F=q(v × B); alternating or moving magnetic fields cause electrical currents on a wire F=i(L × B).
The conversion of fusion energy into electric power can be better understood from the FIG. 5 in where the charged fusion byproducts pass through the second set of multiphase coils 5 which boosts the slow moving alternating EM fields produced by the multiphase coils, electrodynamically transferring energy to be effectively harvested by the multiphase electrical system 42 (FIG. 7) to be dispatched and stored in the battery bank 41. The electron guns 19 are optional to increase the ionization and also to make available more electrons be impelled against the electric fields of the collectors.
The multiphase coils 5 (FIG. 5) generate helicoidal moving force similar to the already explained in FIG. 2 wherein each coil are fed with phase angles 60° apart, respectively 0°, 60°, 120°, 180°, 240°, and 300°, wherein the sequenced pattern of phase-shifted oscillations radially produce rotating magnetic fields similarly to a conventional rotating AC motor, and also axially produce moving magnetic fields similarly to a conventional linear AC motor, resulting in spiraling electromagnetic force around and along its longitudinal axis creating an unidirectional drag force slowly toward the multistage collectors (FIG. 5). The another way of generating helicoidal moving force also was already exemplified in FIG. 3 wherein each conventional stator is 60° out-of-phase with each other and also each pole is 60° out-of-phase with each other, for radially producing rotating magnetic fields and longitudinally producing moving magnetic fields, also resulting in helicoidal moving force. The main advantage of the multiphase coils over a single-phase (TWT, Klystron) (FIG. 14) is that magnetic field is ever present making flow of energy more continuous/constant, and also due to sequential phase variation it slowly impels the charged byproducts away from the reactor’s core which prevents from a premature ionic saturation.
For deceleration purpose and also to receive electromotive force (EMF) (ε=Bℓv sinθ) from the charged fusion byproducts, the velocity of helicoidal moving force must be very slow and forwardly to the collectors, and can be estimated briefly as follows vL=Lf (f=0.5Hz, L=2 m) → vL= 1 m/s = 3.6 km/h where L is the axial length of one coil turn, v is velocity, and f is frequency. The radial containment can be even more improved with the periodic permanent magnets 45 (FIG. 5).
Multistage depressed collectors (US patent: 3662212, 3925701, 4096409, 7368874, 7888873, etc.) can make TWTs more energy-efficient by recovering most of the energy remaining in the electron beam. It is known from TWT’s technology that an energetic electron beam inside a helical coil pushes the alternating electromagnetic fields forwardly thereby boosting/amplifying the amplitude of single-phase electromagnetic waves while losing kinetic energy at each bunching cyclically/periodically induced by the alternating EM fields.
The multiphase coils 5 (FIG. 5) of the energy converter 20 works similarly to a Traveling Wave Amplifier (TWT) or a Klystron 100 and 101 (FIG. 14), where amplitude of alternating electromagnetic fields is boosted while electrically charged particles pass through its interior, forcing the alternating fields outwardly thereby electromotively amplifying the amplitude of voltage (ε=Bℓv sinθ) and current (causing an opposing overflow of energy) on the coils F=i(L × B) while charged particles is losing kinetic energy; however, it amplifies multiphase standing waves instead of a single-phase traveling wave, and also it uses not only energy from electrons but also energy from electrically charged ions. Even having some stationary wave on each coil, the coils are out-of-phase with each other, thus the overall effect due to sequential phase variation is still of generating radially and axially moving electromagnetic fields as previously described.
It is known that for increasing potential stored energy in a charged capacitor is by doing work (τ=qU) of extracting electrons from its positive terminal and pushing them towards its negative terminal, increasing its voltage and consequently, increasing its stored energy (E=½CV²).
After crossing through the energy converter 20 (FIG. 5), transferring most of its energy electrodynamically to the multiphase system, the charged fusion byproduct is still electrostatically decelerated, doing useful work(τ=qU), for gradually exchanging its remaining kinetic energy into potential energy landing smoothly on the multistage collectors (FIG. 5) losing its excess of electrons to become neutral again. The excess of electrons going from the collector towards negative terminal 114 (FIG. 16) causes overvoltage on capacitor C1, which increases the potential energy stored in the capacitor (E=½CV²), that is detected by the comparator, via the voltage divider R3 and R2, activating AND gates, enabling phased pulses to IGBTs which is switched transferring the potential energy stored in the capacitor to the three-phase secondary windings 113 (FIG. 16) causing overvoltage on the three-phase primary windings 117 (FIG. 15) charging the battery bank 41 (FIG. 15) via the three-phase diode bridge rectifier.
The three basic conditions for the fusion to take place are density, confinement and kinetic energy, but low power consumption is essential for a positive balance of energy.
The preferred embodiment of FIG. 1 can alternatively be improved with addition of quadrupoles and electrostatic accelerator (FIG. 6) in where the magnet 7 generates magnetic fields, and the electrostatic generator 4 produces electric fields inside the armature 9, thereby forming a kind of "penning trap", wherein ions (charged particles) are confined radially by the magnetic fields and trapped axially by the electric fields and also by the moving magnetic fields generated by the multiphase accelerators. The ion sources 12 and 18 ionize the fusion fuel to be impelled by the multiphase accelerators and subsequently attracted by the electrostatic fields, toward through the spaced-apart multipole fields, in the direction of the magnet bore for colliding with each other until fusion reactions take place impelling the fusion byproducts to run away longitudinally outwardly to the energy converters 13 and 20 to be forced to work against electric/magnetic fields for transferring energy to the system while slowing down for landing smoothly on the multistage collectors 14 and 21 to be neutralized and collected for subsequently to be processed in the fuel recycler 36 (FIG. 7) to get back the unburned fuel in order to maximize the fuel usage.
The ion sources 18 and 12 (FIG. 7) must ionize the fusion fuel with a predefined charge-to-mass ratio which can be measured and controlled by a mass flow controller and an ammeter. The charge-to-mass ratio is calculated to be as low as possible in order to keep the plasma in a quasi-neutral state resulting in a high density, which requires stronger magnetic flux and higher voltage that are easily provided by superconducting electromagnet and electrostatic generator. Ion sources can produce either positive ions or negative ions, thus the electrostatic generator can either has its negative at the magnet and positive at the armature or positive at the magnet and negative at the armature, hence the setup can be either: [armature(+) electromagnet(-) ions(+)] or [armature(-) electromagnet(+) ions(-)].
The quadrupoles magnets are arranged in quadrature, rotated 90° from each other and spaced-apart by the electrical insulators (FIG. 10), to cause strong focusing to make the beams more convergent and radially denser while the beams move through the magnetic cusps of the quadrupoles toward the reaction chamber (interior of the magnet).
With few power consumption (few kilowatts), the electrostatic acceleration can reach great kinetic energy (600keV ≈7billion °C) enough to fuse hydrogen-boron, lithium-6/7, beryllium-9, helium-3, that can be easily proven by simple and consistent calculations.
In accordance to the laws of physics, energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed in form; and energy and matter are equivalents. Hence it would be needed just few fusion reactions for a positive energy release, but, in practice, due to electromagnetic radiation (bremsstrahlung), most of the energy will end as heat. However, having the correct conditions (kinetic energy and confinement) with low power consumption and an efficient thermoelectric conversion system, it is possible to surpass the breakeven point with a net energy gain.
Any waste heat produced by the fusion reactor (FIG. 11), and its peripherals, can be recycled into electric power by conventional technologies such as steam turbines, but the Multiphase Thermoelectric Converter (PCT/IB2011/054511) 48 is preferable in order to increase the efficiency of thermal-to-electric energy conversion for reducing drastically the thermal waste to the environment, also for needing less cooling water than conventional reactors. The waste heat comes mainly from the electromagnetic radiation in the reactor's core, mostly in X-ray range (bremsstrahlung) that is shielded by the tungsten layers. The multiphase thermoelectric converter internally operates by radially forcing the hot coolant to push axially (F=qE) electrical charges against electric/magnetic fields thereby directly transferring energy to the system as electric power.
A basic operation of the alternative embodiment of FIG. 17 is similar to the preferred embodiment already explained in FIG. 1, except it has a set of fourteen energy converters and multiphase accelerators disposed at faces of the truncated octahedron 104(FIG. 18). The truncated octahedron internally generates quasi-static/steady-state magnetic fields that are open-ended at the faces. It is internally comprised by eight magnets with bore at hexagonal faces for generating normal magnetic fields in the openings of hexagonal faces and quadrupole fields in the square faces (FIG. 19) resulting in strong focusing. Inside the truncated octahedron (reaction chamber), the magnetic field lines are curved which cause the magnetic mirror effect(tendency for charged particles to bounce back from a high field region), the plasma particles describe a circular and helical orbit around the quasi-static magnetic field lines keeping away from the chamber walls.
Regarding the ionization, the alternative embodiment (FIG. 17) is to work either with neutral or with non-neutral plasma, but in this case, neutral plasma is preferable due to low ionic saturation. Neutral plasma: electrons and atomic nuclei much closer (p-e-p) for substantially diminishing proton-proton repulsion consequently much higher fusion rate and energy production.
The alternative embodiment of FIG. 17 has fourteen multiphase accelerators (seven axes instead of just one, much more isotropic instead of just radial) for providing energetic collisions enough to overcome the Coulomb repulsion; just remembering that in few micrograms of fusion fuel there are trillions and trillions of atomic nuclei, and also free electrons that can decrease the Coulomb repulsion, then fusion reactions are certainly to occur. In quasi-isotropic collisions, the plasma beams tend to repel each other convergently toward the center of the reaction chamber thereby increasing the probability of fusion reactions.
Continuing with the operation, the multiphase accelerators generate rotating and moving magnetic fields resulting in helicoidal moving forces toward the openings of the truncated octahedron, wherein plasma is confined by the static magnetic fields, mainly due to magnetic mirror effect, and trapped isotropically by the helicoidal moving forces. The plasma sources 103(FIG. 17) inject pre-heated fusion fuel to be accelerated by the multiphase accelerators in the direction of the reaction chamber (interior of the truncated octahedron) for colliding isotropically with each other until fusion reactions take place impelling the fusion byproducts to escape outwardly toward the energy converters to be forced to work against alternating electromagnetic fields for transferring energy to the system while decelerating for landing softly on the multistage collectors to be neutralized and collected for thereafter to be recycled to recuperate the unburned fuel in order to maximize the fuel utilization.
|1H||+ 2||6||Li||→||4He + (3He + 6Li) → 3 4He + 1H||+||20.9||MeV(||153||TJ/kg ≈||42||GWh/kg)|
|1H||+||7||Li||→ 2||4He||+||17.2||MeV (||204||TJ/kg ≈||56||GWh/kg)|
|1H||+||9||Be||→||4He + 6Li||+||2.1||MeV (||22||TJ/kg ≈||6||GWh/kg)|
|3He||+||3||He||→||4He + 2 1H||+||12.9||MeV (||205||TJ/kg ≈||57||GWh/kg)|
|1H||+||11||B||→ 3||4He||+||8.7||MeV (||66||TJ/kg ≈||18||GWh/kg)|
By using aneutronic fuels, it can be effectively at the same time a clean, safe, dense and environmentally friendly power source to supply the mankind's energy needs, with no greenhouse gases, no neutron emission, no radioactive waste, no thermal waste, no large land areas, no interruptions by the weather or time of day, easy shutdown, no meltdowns and no proliferation. A dense and environmentally friendly energy source that can replace more than 10 billion tons/year of carbon dioxide (CO₂) by only 10000 tons/year of non-radioactive, inert, safe and light helium-4 gas, which can ascend above the ozone layer and maybe escape to the outer space and be swept by the solar wind.
This process can reduce CO₂ concentration and increase oxygen in the atmosphere, producing hydrogen for fuel cells and methanol for vehicles; methanol is relatively clean compared to gasoline or diesel which can substantially reduce the worldwide pollution.
With a more advanced electrochemical process in food technology, it is possible to produce carbohydrate (C₅H₁₀O₄), glucose (C₆H₁₂O₆), and other organic compounds, free of naturally occurring contaminant elements (e.g., mercury, lead) and free of naturally occurring radioactive materials (e.g., carbon-14, potassium-40), which can help to reduce the destruction of forested areas to be used as arable land and pasture for food production.
This disclosure is technologically and economically feasible, no environmental damage, and due to its higher energy/power density, it requires less land usage than any other renewable energy like wind power, solar energy, hydroelectricity, and biofuel. It is an environmentally friendly source of electric power with virtually no thermal and no radioactive waste, a dense energy source with an extremely high degree of cleanness and efficiency to supply the world's energy needs and can also enable humanity to achieve interstellar travels for affordably exploring the outer space. It does not need enormous amounts of electric power to effectively harness the fusion reactions, because it is relatively more energy and cost efficient due to the wise use of low-power-consumption techniques like multiphase accelerators, superconducting electromagnet and electrostatic acceleration instead of energy devourers like magnetic compression and lasers putting it much closer to the practicality than any other mainstream fusion reactor, in a stable, reliable, predictable and controllable manner for large-scale energy production.