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Huge Racks of Capacitors Arrive for Pegasus Tokamak

Engineering Physics Professor Raymond J. Fonck and his team took delivery of a massive capacitor system Monday, August 19. The capacitors will serve as part of a new high-energy power supply system needed for the main current drive and initial heating source of the new Pegasus Tokamak (major radius = .45, aspect ratio = 1.1-2, >and plasma current = 100-400 kA).

Unloading of a lot of capacitors

Raymond J. Fonck's team unloads racks of capacitors in front of the Mechanical Engineering building. (large image)

"The capacitor system has been generously loaned to us by the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) project at the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory the United States' largest fusion science research laboratory," Fonck said.

Students disassembling capacitor

Students then disassemble the racks so that the capacitors will fit into the experimental pool area under the front porch of ERB. (large image)

The capacitors were part of a large power supply used for compressional heating experiments on the TFTR experiment in the early 1980s. The capacitors store 1-3 MegaJoules of energy, which will be switched into a novel high-stress solenoid magnet inside the Pegasus device. For the short pulse length of 50 milliseconds or less, this system will deliver up to 100 MW of instantaneous power to the magnet.

"The loan of this capacitor system from PPPL gives us a power capability which, if bought new, could cost $500,000 to $1 million and is helping to keep the costs of the Pegasus project to a minimum," Fonck said.

The loaned equipment includes the capacitors, protection fuses, and high-power rectifying diodes. The system will be repackaged and mounted in the experimental pool area under the front porch of the Engineering Research Building.