Solon Provides Custom Instrumentation for Successful Fusion Project - Power Technology | Energy News and Market Analysis
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Solon Provides Custom Instrumentation for Successful Fusion Project

Custom vacuum switches

Solon’s vacuum switches have been installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), as part of a demonstration of nuclear fusion.

Scientists at the LLNL have recently replicated the process of how the sun creates energy, and this man-controlled nuclear fusion could change how we power the world.

In 2007, Solon began working with engineers at the Lawrence Livermore National Ignition Facility (NIF), to define, design, prototype and validate the vacuum switches used to confirm that the proper atmosphere was in place inside the test chamber.

Solon president Tim Dunn said: "The NIF requirements were very particular and they needed a partner that was willing to work through all of the details of their project.

"The material specifications were revised several times during the project to ensure that the switch sensing elements could not influence their process."

The Solon switches, 100 in all, were mounted onto panels that are located on the exterior of the fusion test chamber.

"Solon developed internal test equipment and procedures specific to this project to ensure that all of the devices performed well when they were received at Lawrence Livermore," added Dunn.

A recent follow up with NIF confirms the switches are still operating at optimal performance, protecting the atmosphere of the test chamber.

"Many people at Solon had a direct impact on our project with LLNL and NIF. Very often our products are buried inside large facilities and don’t see the light of day, but their function is crucial to many industrial processes and R&D projects," said Dunn.

Founded in 1949, Solon Manufacturing Company is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of Belleville springs and industrial pressure switches for customers in energy and utility transmission and distribution, petro-chemical, transportation, and environmental compliance worldwide. To meet their customers’ needs, Solon holds the ISO 9001:2008 certification for high standards in quality management.

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