FICS II Planning and construction

For posts specifically relating to fusor design, construction, and operation.
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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: FICS II Planning and construction

Post by Steven Sesselmann » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:31 pm

Dennis,

I am not in any way suggesting that this version of FICS is or will be or will be producing useful energy, it is just a proof of concept. In reality the reactor is consuming around 125 watt of power (2.5 mA at 50 kV), most of which seems to be deposited as heat in the zener diodes. The actual reactor feels cold after a 15-20 minute of running. This in itself is an improvement on the fusor, as the heat energy from the zener can be localised and used for something.

The main objective behind the differential current measurement is to measure any reverse current caused by kinetic fusion energy (if it exists), reverse current would appear exactly as the kind of current drop we saw in that last experiment with the 10 second spike albeit not statistically significant.

Even the tiniest reverse current in the µA region would facilitate a self sustaining reaction, it's just a matter of throttling back on the ground leak.

So I guess the honest way to report the energy consumption at this stage is to declare 0.5 mA as lost to ground inside the reactor and 2 mA lost to ground in the zener, the latter current being necessary for ion production.

Steven
http://www.gammaspectacular.com - Gamma Spectrometry Systems
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Steven_Sesselmann - Various papers and patents on RG

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: FICS II Planning and construction

Post by Dennis P Brown » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:04 am

Again, your approach is showing very good results - 125 watts and over 200k neutrons continuous is impressive, none-the-less. As I mentioned, your spike needs to be investigated further so you can understand its cause(s) and maybe, that phenomenon has merit to pursue.

As for waste heat - that rarely can be converted to any type of useful work due to the fact it is generally created through an energy usage process (Zener avalanche, possibly) where most the useful work has been converted to said heat (generally that is why it is waste heat ... .) But a detailed discussion on that topic of thermodynamic efficiency is currently not necessary nor appropriate for this forum (for those interested, see Carnot Cycle) ...at least, for now.

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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: FICS II Planning and construction

Post by Steven Sesselmann » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:40 am

I did another three runs today, and collected the data in the usual manner. Not entirely sure what the data is telling me as there is still some variances between runs. The first run was on a cold start and immediately output a lot of neutrons, then slowly tapered off, the third run was more steady. My data is consistent from run to run, but I can't bee sure that the pressure I record is 100% accurate, but in the ballpark for sure. Same with the neutron counters, they are not certifiably calibrated, so once again the numbers are in the ballpark only. Unfortunately my BTI detectors have long expired.

My data acquisition is currently recording at 1 Hz which does not allow me to see the finer details of what is happening, so I might try and push it to a higher sample rate for future runs.

It looks like I am probably hitting the mega neutron mark, this run went a little over, but the first run today exceeded 2.5 mega neutrons within the first 10 seconds.



Steven

Run #3 Friday 29 December 2017 (325 seconds)
-----------------------------------------------------------
Run-3-Neutrons.PNG
Run 3 Neutrons
Run-3-Pressure.PNG
Run 3 Pressure
Run-3-Voltage.PNG
Run 3 Voltage
Run-3-Current-diff.PNG
Run 3 Differential current
Run-3-Current-in.PNG
Run 3 Current Input
Run-3-Current-out.PNG
Run 3 Current output
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Dennis P Brown
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Re: FICS II Planning and construction

Post by Dennis P Brown » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:06 am

The noise level on your system is rather high, appears on the order of most your signals, and while that is understandable for a poorly shield detector it is surprising for a vacuum reading or voltage value. Current measurements just should not exhibit noise of that level at all since you are measuring milli-amps so that is a concern relative to the recording sensor/equipment or is it the measurement methodology or DAQ card? What do you think is the cause for all noise in all these systems or are your data acquisition systems that open to emf?

Still curious about the differential current reverse sign in the data; no fusion device will return current (a given) but certainly if your data logger is suffering from high noise levels one might see this as a false signal (hopefully not) or are there some capacitance in your system? Or is this just a remnant of the processing or measurement methodology?

Your neutron count is certainly high. Relative to that data is it possible that there electrode's are degrading after reaching a peak level? A slow rise could be a sign of that, as well. That is, the electrodes are self cleaning at the start, reach a high value after removing a level of contaminates and then continue to erode creating issues for the plasma. Speculation but maybe a possible cause.

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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: FICS II Planning and construction

Post by Steven Sesselmann » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:23 pm

Dennis P Brown wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:06 am
The noise level on your system is rather high, appears on the order of most your signals, and while that is understandable for a poorly shield detector it is surprising for a vacuum reading or voltage value. Current measurements just should not exhibit noise of that level at all since you are measuring milli-amps so that is a concern relative to the recording sensor/equipment or is it the measurement methodology or DAQ card? What do you think is the cause for all noise in all these systems or are your data acquisition systems that open to emf?
I agree, the nose level is a problem, so I should make this a priority to fix before wasting more time. One of the problems at the moment is that I am running the analogue signals through two 10 meter ethernet cables (four twisted pairs) to the DAQ which sits next to my computer. The main reason for this is because 10 meter USB cables don't generally work. That said I do have a 10 meter optical USB cable, but the darn cable is USB3 and the DAQ is USB2 and the two aren't compatible.

Putting the DAQ closer would improve the signal, but I don't think it will totally fix the problem, I will still have plasma flash overs. As I don't have a viewport on this reactor I can't see the plasma, but I suspect it is not a well behaved poissor as in a fusor, instead it seems more like a runaway reaction where the current rises and falls, might try again with a higher ohm load resistor, Currently using around 400K but have another one with 5 M Ohm.
Dennis P Brown wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:06 am
Still curious about the differential current reverse sign in the data; no fusion device will return current (a given) but certainly if your data logger is suffering from high noise levels one might see this as a false signal (hopefully not) or are there some capacitance in your system? Or is this just a remnant of the processing or measurement methodology?
You wrote no fusion device will ever return a current, FICS is designed to do just that albeit small?

With every fusion reaction that takes place in FICS 1.5 positive charges are carried to ground (He3 and T3), so if the reactor is doing 1,000,000 fusions per second, 1.5 million charges go to ground via the zener which is a reverse current on the order of picoamps (in principle).

Dennis P Brown wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:06 am
Your neutron count is certainly high. Relative to that data is it possible that there electrode's are degrading after reaching a peak level? A slow rise could be a sign of that, as well. That is, the electrodes are self cleaning at the start, reach a high value after removing a level of contaminates and then continue to erode creating issues for the plasma. Speculation but maybe a possible cause.
At this stage I have not considered electrode material. The HV is connected to aluminium electrodes and the zener ground path is via the magnet which looks like it is nickel plated. Nickel would be my metal of choice for the electrodes. certainly want to try a few other improvements before cracking it open again.

I am confident about generating neutrons, but the magnitude is subject to solid proof, which is why I am not posting any runs on the Q list yet.

Going away next week, so I won't get a chance to work on it for a while.

Steven
http://www.gammaspectacular.com - Gamma Spectrometry Systems
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Steven_Sesselmann - Various papers and patents on RG

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