Posted on: 17th December 2015

#17 A voltage divider to buffer powerful discharges

In case of emergency shutdowns of fusion devices, an equipment known as a high-voltage divider is used to seal-off a closed cooling channel for liquid helium that protects the superconducting magnets. These dividers must buffer discharges and ensure that the helium lines inside the magnets are electrically insulated.

Manufacturer Babcock Noell GmbH were able to produce dividers that met the #Wendelstein specifications and has set new standards in vacuum-tightness, mechanical robustness and high-voltage resistance. The dividers have found application not just in fusion devices, but in the accelerator ring used in the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research project being built at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, an international accelerator facility.

Qualified 5 kV divider after successful high-voltage and material testing. Image and caption credit: Wendelstein 7-X and fusion – At the cutting edge of technology, brochure by Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma Physics.

Qualified 5 kV divider after successful high-voltage and material testing. Image and caption credit: Wendelstein 7-X and fusion – At the cutting edge of technology, brochure by Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma Physics.

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.