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A Direct Convertor Based upon Space Charge Effects

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1 Author(s)
Gitomer, S.J. ; Theoretical Division Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544

A device capable of converting directly the kinetic energy of charged particles into electrical energy is considered. The device differs from earlier ones (such as Post's periodic focus electrostatic direct convertor) in that it makes use of the space charge repulsion in a high density charged particle beam. The beam is directed into a monotonic decelerating electrostatic field of a several stage planar finned structure. The collector fins coincide with vacuum equipotential surfaces. Space charge blowup of the beam directs particles onto various collector fins. The energy efficiency of a 4-stage device has been determined using a numerical simulation approach. We find that efficiencies approaching 75 percent are possible. An approximate scaling law is derived for the space charge based direct convertor and a comparison is made to the periodic focus direct convertor. We find the space charge based direct convertor to be superior in a number of ways.

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

March 1977

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