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High-frequency light conversion to solar power in Farnsworth Fusor: Challenges and Procedures
  • Geby Jaff
Geby Jaff
Duval high school

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The Farnsworth fusor is a device that achieves nuclear fusion through electrostatic confinement of plasma in a vacuum chamber. This paper documents the process of constructing a custom fusor and using it to investigate harvesting energy from fusion reactions. A glass chamber with was constructed to house the fusor’s wire cages and sustain vacuum. A high voltage supply ionizes injected deuterium gas, creating fusion reactions and plasma. To capture energy, solar cells with plastic scintillators were arranged facing the fusor. The scintillators emit light when struck by x-rays, concentrating energy onto the solar cells. Data showed solar cells coupled to scintillators produced up to 333% higher voltage than control cells, supporting that this method boosts energy yield. However, limitations were found in maintaining vacuum and high voltage operation. Solutions are proposed, including machined metal vacuum components and a clock-controlled Cockcroft-Walton rectifier circuit. Further research could optimize scintillator configurations to focus x-rays onto solar cells using optics like the Kirkpatrick-Baez configuation. This experiment provides valuable insights into constructing and optimizing fusors. Key results support integrating plastic scintillator and solar cell systems to maximize energy harvested from fusion reactions.