Posted on: 2nd December 2015
#2 Ohmic Heating (OH) Networks
Inducing and maintaining plasma current is crucial to get a proper fusion reaction going. One of the ways this is achieved is by using what is known as ohmic heating. In ohmic heating, the passage of an electric current through a conductor releases heat. EUROfusion’s tokamak JET uses a custom-made ohmic heating network that consists of high current opening and closing switches, a counter-pulse circuit, commutating resistors, and various safety and protection devices and their controls. The system besides inducing and maintaining the plasma current in JET can have a wide range of applications.
The Fusion Technology Transfer Action or FUTTA, a project run by EUROfusion in collaboration with the European Space Agency, has identified various industries where JET’s custom-made Ohmic Heating Network can be applied. Some of them include industrial switches and busbars, high current or high voltage OH application onsite (e.g., smelting or chemical industries), and high speed data acquisition for data analysis.
The complexity and the multidisciplinary nature of fusion research produced number of spin-offs that have found applications in industry, other scientific disciplines, and technological advances. The areas that have benefited from fusion research span a variety of fields ranging from medicine and material science to computing and astrophysics.
EUROfusion has identified some of these spin-offs, looked at fusion research aspects that have the potential for short-term benefits, and prepared a non-exhaustive list of fusion spin-offs which demonstrate the short-term benefits of fusion research on the way to fusion electricity.