(Redirected from ΜFusion)
These reactors are a giant advance over traditional fusion power, providing the first mobile high energy density power supply in history. Within days of their creation they caused giant shifts in the geopolitical balance of power.
The actual fusion bottle is miniscule: a sphere with a volume of 1L - just 12.4cm across. The control systems around the bottle extend the reactor core to 30cm across. A 10cm layer of shielding extends the reactor core to 50cm across. A coiled multi-step direct conversion (CMDC) system encircles this half-metre sphere, taking advantage of the magnetic fields that contain the fusion plasma in the bottle. This increases the sphere to 66cm across. The CMDC system converts 90% of the 20MW reactor output to electricity. Of the 18MW of electricity, 5MW are channeled into the supercapacitors built into the device. This energy is used to control the fusion reaction. The other 13MW are pushed out to external storage or use. The 2MW of heat energy are collected by a molten salt heat transfer system that surrounds the reactor core and CMDC system. This sphere is 80cm across. An additional 10cm of shielding brings the reactor up to 1m in diameter. The remaining volume is made up of integrated supercapacitors, a miniature steam-powered turbine (50% efficent), computers, and backup systems.
Each unit weighs in at 500kg, and fits in a space 122cm x 122cm x 244cm (4' x 4' x 8'), for a total volume of 3.631m3. Initial output is 13MW electricity and 2MW heat, but the ratio can be adjusted by altering the efficiency of the CMDC and using the steam turbine. In normal operations the system can produce anywhere from 10-14MW of electricity, and 1-5MW of heat.
Deuterium is the most cost effective fuel to use in the reactor. CAF has 1000L of the stuff - enough to last Chewie and the Darklighter transport fighters for quite some time. Heavy water production is being ramped up, however, in anticipation of a sharp spike in demand.
Reactor Core and Special Materials
Normal matter can not survive in the face of the energy output of a fusion reaction. Advances in metamaterial design have created a coating that is completely reflective to gamma radiation of the frequency produced by the μFusion reactor, however. Combined with magnetic containement and direction of the very fast/hot material products of fusion, the very small containment bottle is sufficient. The material does degrade over time due to stray neutron emissions. It should be replaced after seven days of full power operation. Standby can be maintained for seven years.
The containment botttle is the most expensive single component of the reactor as it must be created essentially perfectly at a molecular level to be useful for a refill week at full power. CAF produced a dozen cores in a few days - but the people and MIs that did that work broke down under pressure. The union now appears to be around 1 core / day.
Each μFusion core has 168h - one week - of full power before becoming unreliable and dangerously radioactive. It takes about that long to create a new core, based on the production capacity of CAF. Eigth cores are in Chewie. One is in the Biggs plane. One is having a new kind of airframe installed around it. The other two are powering excavation and terraforming in the Underneath of CAF. Current production of cores can keep up with demand - but barely.
Production of new cores is a high priority constraint that is being addressed with additional material and Human Resources.
The fusion bottle can be replaced by a small robot in 1h.