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Development of Hydrogen Pellet Injectors at ORNL

S. K. Combs, S. L. Milora, C. A. Foster, D. D. Schuresko, J. T. Hogan

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 4 / Number 2P2 / September 1983 / Pages 666-674

Plasma Heating, Impurity Control, and Fueling / dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST83-A22936

Pellet injectors that produce and accelerate frozen hydrogen isotope pellets are being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for fueling of present and future plasma fusion devices. The development has focused primarily on two types of injectors: (1) gas guns, which utilize a pneumatic approach to accelerate pellets in a barrel with compressed helium or hydrogen propellant, and (2) centrifuge-type injectors, in which pellets are accelerated by centrifugal forces in a high-speed rotating track. In a single-pellet pneumatic injector, pellet speeds up to 1.4 km/s have been achieved. Three multipellet injection systems (ORNL four-pellet pneumatic design) are now functional, one each on the Poloidal Divertor Experiment (PDX), Alcator-C, and the Impurity Study Experiment (ISX-B). Currently, two repetitive devices (one of each injector type) are in operation to demonstrate steady-state fueling systems in the reactor-relevant parameter ranges of 1-km/s pellet velocity, variable pellet sizes up to 2 mm, and feed rates up to 10–40 pellets/s. The injector designs are described and operating characteristics discussed.

 
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