Last week, the Italian company finished placing the latest Ion Source and Extraction Power Supplies (ISEPS) equipment inside the MITICA high-voltage deck at the Neutral Beam Test Facility, housed at the Consorzio RFX facility in Padua.
The installation required incredible precision as the heavy equipment was lifted and positioned within the two-level HVD, at more than 7 meters above the ground.
MITICA is a test bed for the neutral beam injectors being created for ITER, a research facility currently under construction that will be the world’s largest experiment dedicated to developing fusion energy as a clean and abundant power source.
OCEM is supplying ISEPS systems both for MITICA and for the two neutral beam injectors that will be built on-site in Cadarache, France.
“We are very proud to have contributed to the Neutral Beam Test Facility, and to the ITER device,” OCEM General Manager Giuseppe Taddia said. “We have worked for many years in the Big Physics market, and have developed a passion for helping make fusion energy a reality.”
Fusion occurs when two lighter atomic nuclei are subjected to high heat and pressure, and fuse to form a heavier nucleus. This fusion reaction produces a large amount of energy that can then be converted into electricity.
However, fusion can only take place when the gases have entered an electrically charged state of matter called plasma. To achieve fusion, the plasma must be heated to about 150 million degrees Celsius. These extreme temperatures are achieved by a combination of heating methods, one of which is called a “neutral beam injector.”
ITER will have two neutral beam injectors that inject high-energy particles of the same kind present in the reactor, using a series of steps to create, accelerate and finally neutralize the ions so they enter the plasma with high energy and produce heating.
The ISEPS systems power the first two stages of the neutral beam injector: the ion source and the extraction grid. The ISEPS for MITICA will now be wired and connected to the ISEPS equipment, with commissioning and on-site testing to follow.
OCEM Power Electronics