Pulsed power

Pulsed power is the science and technology of accumulating energy over a relatively long period of time and releasing it very quickly, thus increasing the instantaneous power.

Steady accumulation of energy followed by its rapid release can result in the delivery of a larger amount of instantaneous power over a shorter period of time (although the total energy is the same). Energy is typically stored within electrostatic fields (capacitors), magnetic fields (inductor), as mechanical energy (using large flywheels connected to special purpose high current alternators), or as chemical energy (high-current lead-acid batteries, or explosives). By releasing the stored energy over a very short interval (a process that is called energy compression), a huge amount of peak power can be delivered to a load. For example, if one joule of energy is stored within a capacitor and then evenly released to a load over one second, the peak power delivered to the load would only be 1 watt. However, if all of the stored energy were released within one microsecond, the peak power would be one megawatt, a million times greater. Examples where pulsed power technology is commonly used include radar, particle accelerators, ultrastrong magnetic fields, fusion research, electromagnetic pulses, and high power pulsed lasers.

Pulsed Power was first developed during World War II for use in Radar. Radar requires short high power pulses. After the war development continued in other applications leading to the super pulsed power machines at Sandia National Laboratories (above).

Triple-threat method sparks hope for fusion

The secrets to its success are lasers, magnets and a big pinch.

The Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico discharges the most intense pulses of electrical current on Earth. Millions of amperes can be sent towards a metallic cylinder the size of a pencil eraser, inducing a magnetic field that creates a force — called a Z pinch — that crushes the cylinder in a fraction of a second.

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Inside The Z Machine, Where Scientists Turned Hydrogen Into Metal  

“20: Magnetic strength, in mega gauss, of the Z machine—20 million times greater than Earth’s magnetic field.” 

For 80 years, researchers theorized that hydrogen could transform into a metal. This year, scientists at Sandia National Laboratories finally proved it. Read how they did it at popsci.com. Image credit: Randy Montoya; Courtesy Sandia National Laboratories

Robots are getting more and more advanced these days. They can mop floors, assist with daily living tasks, pour beer… but can they rock your face off? It turns out that they can.

Z-Machines is a new band in Japan composed of robots created by students at Tokyo University. Mach (center) plays lead guitar with 12 picks and 78 fingers. Cosmo (left) plays keyboard and shoots lasers from its eyes. Ashura (right) is on drums and uses 21 sticks.

More info: http://bit.ly/122UgTK

Video: http://bit.ly/12tha6L
Photo credit: Koji Sasahara

The Z Machine

Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Z Machine is the worlds largest X-ray generator. When discharged, for a brief period of about 70 nanoseconds, the Z machine releases 80 times the electrical output used by the entire planet. One of its main objectives is to study the conditions of extreme temperature and pressure, with the hope of solving the practical difficulties in harnessing the power of nuclear fusion. The temperatures reached in the Z Machine (up to 3.7 billion kelvins) are well beyond those required for standard hydrogen, deuterium and tritium fusion. This could potentially allow for the fusion of light hydrogen atoms with heavier atoms, such as lithium and boron. These fusion reactions would not produce neutrons, which means they would not produce radioactivity or nuclear waste, which would provide a far cleaner and more efficient source of power than is currently available.

The Z machine is the largest X-ray generator in the world and is designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure. It gathers data to aid in computer modeling of nuclear weapons.

Z releases 80 times the world’s electrical power output for about seventy nanoseconds, with a maximum output of 290 terawatts. For comparison, that’s enough to power 20 trillion light bulbs. The equivalent of 290 lightning strikes at peak power. As many kilowatts as the number of stars in our galaxy.

The machine has reached a peak temperature of 3.7 billion degrees Celsius, which is more than 200 times the core temperature of the sun (Notably the Hadron collider has achieved more than a thousand times this temperature). It has also propelled small plates at 34 kilometres per second, which is a hundred times the speed of sound.


Break-Even Fusion Power Could Be Here Fairly Soon and Possibly High-Gain Fusion As Well

When a fusion reaction reaches the break even point it means that the energy released is equal to amount put in and once we pass this point we could potentially have limitless energy.

The test run by Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico with the “Z-Machine” went consistent with previous computer simulations and according to researcher Ryan McBride, “These predicted MagLIF (Magnetized Linear Internal Fusion) will exceed scientific break-even.” However, tests with actual deuterium fuel are not scheduled until 2013.

In even more awesome news, researcher Roger Vesey predicted in another simulation, that “high-gain” fusion could be possible. He said that using 60 million amperes, about triple was is normally used, would produce 100 times more energy put in.

The Z-Machine works by firing an electrical charge into a thin tungsten wire array, called a liner, which vaporizes the wires turning the array into a super hot sheet of plasma. Awesome right? As a result of the current being shot into the wires and the plasma sheet, there is a magnetic field created which is compressed on account of Lorentz forces creating a electromagnetic pulse that electrifies the metal objects in the room (as seen above). This is called a z-pinch process and the imploding magnetic fields onto a target cause fusion.

Via Science Daily

From ScienceAlert

This is the Z Machine, part of the Pulsed Power Program at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, US. It’s the most powerful and efficient laboratory radiation source on Earth.

Pulsed power concentrates electrical energy and converts it into short pulses of enormous power that can generate X-rays and gamma rays. It’s hoped that the research facilitated by the Z Machine will solve the practical difficulties that are currently preventing us from mastering fusion power. 

Read more: http://1.usa.gov/qNilGg

Image: Sandia National Laboratories 

Hi :) madnessmethodx,

I thought you might like these images. The top image is of the Z machine, the largest X-ray generator in the world at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The bottom image is of the wingtip vortices & the wake turbulence effect during an Airbus A340 approach. The top image from facultystaff.richmond.edu, the bottom one from onlywallpaper.in.

Flashover at the Z machine.

The Z machine at Sandia National Laboratory. Due to the extremely high voltage, the power feeding equipment is submerged in concentric chambers of 2 megalitres (2,000 m³) of transformer oil and 2.3 megalitres (2,300 m³) ofdeionized water, which act as insulators. Nevertheless, the electromagnetic pulse when the machine is discharged causes impressive lightning, referred to as a “flashover”, which can be seen around many of the metallic objects in the room.