Digital controller improves power management for nuclear fusion: Page 2 of 2

March 09, 2016 //By PAUL BUCKLEY
Digital controller improves power management for nuclear fusion
Engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed a digital version of a key analog electronic component that helps regulate the current that powers the coils in PPPL's National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U).

Other advantages over their analog predecessors include an ability to coordinate the production of electric current and to shut down when sensing that a rapid change in current might damage components. This synchronized shut-off process is like applying the brakes in a car, suggested Mozulay.

Engineers will also be able to adjust the digital firing generators much more easily than their analog predecessors. "Making changes in the future will mean making changes to the programming, not electronics," said Mozulay. "A new program can be downloaded into the digital signal processors within the firing generators in minutes, thereby allowing fast, accurate updates."

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