Researchers from the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have found a new way to produce small-sized powerful magnets for thermonuclear reactors, and technology is simple and reliable, which promises to bring the emergence of commercial thermonuclear reactors closer and to provide mankind with access to infinite and clean energy.
Today, for research thermonuclear reactors of all types and also for the ITER reactor, magnets are created based on low temperature superconductivity. Unfortunately, low temperature superconductivity severely limits the maximum possible magnitude of the magnetic field, which forces superconducting magnets to be very large, leading to an increase in the size of thermonuclear reactors with all negative effects on the process economy.
High-temperature superconductivity may be the way out, which will lead to multiple magnetic field tensions and lower magnet size. The smaller the magnets are, the more robust the thermonuclear reactor is, the more efficient the reactors are to be maintained and economically exploited. This is where a group of scientists from the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory worked, together with colleagues from Advanced Conductor Technologies, the University of Colorado in Boulder, and the National Laboratory of High Magnetic Fields in Tallahassi, Florida.
Researchers have developed a technology to produce compact superconducting magnets with two major upgrades. First, they have collected materials to create high temperature conductivity. Second, they have developed a technology to create a set form coil without the use of insulating materials. A superconductive wire without insulation simply fits into its cramps at the base of the coil and this makes it easier to manufacture magnets many times.
" said the lead researcher.
This development is particularly important for the development of so-called spherical currentacamaks, which look like an apple rather than a classical currentac bagel. For spherical currentacles, size is of paramount importance. Such reactors can be quite compact, but magnetic fields have very, very complex shapes, which impose stringent requirements on magnets. Compact magnets can solve these problems and hopefully happen sooner or later.