LPPFusion’s research team has now received all parts for the new switches. Research Scientist Syed Hassan has begun the task of assembling and testing the 24 switches. The first step, soldering together the base plates and bolts that will attach the switches to the capacitors, is complete. Further steps will include testing the switches for gas leaks and preparing the Mylar shields that prevent flashover (shorting of the switches along their outside surfaces). More work needs to be done on the plates that will attach the switches to the rest of the machine and on the additional cables from the main trigger device to the switches.
In the initial configuration we will be experimenting with, we will still be using only eight of the device’s 12 capacitors, which means we will be running with 16 switches. This will enable us to test the change in the switches with the same total energy supply. Later in the year, we will be changing over to full power with 12 capacitors and 24 switches.
After many delays, some Covid-related, we have received a firm date for delivery of our new anode stalk—April 12. While it is not as soon as we had hoped, we expect to have everything ready to run by that time, allowing our new experiments to start by around May 1. We will be testing to see if our major upgrades lead to a large increase in fusion yield. If they do, the next step will be moving to our long-awaited tests with pB11 (hydrogen-boron fuel), hopefully before the end of summer.