Vacuum solutions for Wendelstein 7-X
Pfeiffer Vacuum interviews Dr. Heinz Grote, Head of the Vacuum Group at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics
The world´s largest experimental fusion reactor of the stellarator type, “Wendelstein 7-X”, has been in operation at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald, Germany, since December 2015. This reactor is used to carry out experiments in which a hydrogen plasma is created that is suitable for the continuous operation of a nuclear fusion power station. In the long-term, the energy generated by nuclear fusion is supposed to be used as an alternative, clean way of producing electricity.
Wendelstein 7-X helps to investigate the extent to which the stellarator principle can be used as a power plant. After completion of the first operating phase at the end of March 2016, the reactor is now being upgraded and prepared for the second series of experiments. Vacuum technology is a fundamental component of the reactor: the experiments can only be carried out under ultra-high vacuum conditions. Pfeiffer Vacuum has been working with the IPP’s scientists in Greifswald for many years in close cooperation on the design, implementation and operation of the reactor´s vacuum system.
In August 2016, the Pfeiffer Vacuum project team and Dr. Ulrich von Hülsen, member of the Pfeiffer Vacuum GmbH management, paid a visit to the experimental fusion reactor in Greifswald. During this visit, the team inquired about the progress of the first operating phase, the use of Pfeiffer Vacuum products and the demands of the second phase.
Dr. Heinz Grote explains the Wendelstein 7-X experimental nuclear fusion reactor to Dr. Ulrich von Hülsen, a member of Pfeiffer Vacuum GmbH management, and the Pfeiffer Vacuum project team.
Dr. Heinz Grote, Head of the Vacuum Group at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, tells Pfeiffer Vacuum in an interview about the previous success of the experimental fusion reactor, the cooperation with Pfeiffer Vacuum and the preparations for the second operation phase of Wendelstein 7-X.
Dr. Ulrich von Hülsen with Dr. Heinz Grote, Head of the Vacuum Group at the IPP.