I thought I would give an update here about some testing I have been doing personally recently. I have seen something that I find encouraging, and has got me motivated to keep going.
First of all, I must say I am very much a novice with this kind of experimentation, and I am learning as I go along. Basically I am just doing this for my own curiosity and enjoyment. I am using a very basic setup, using a fuel core that has been provided to me by another researcher (who for now does not want to be identified), so I feel like I can’t take any credit for the testing I am doing. I have just put some equipment together and am taking measurements.
I first planned to use a PID to stabilize temperatures, and measure input. However I purchased a solid state relay that did not work with my PID — so I have to put that on hold for the time being. So for the time being I decided to try something more simple.
The components on the circuit are a wattmeter at the power outlet, an AC motor speed controller (basically a dimmer). These are hooked to a coil made of Kanthal A1 wire that is insulated with ceramic wool and is placed inside a cylindrical metal container (an empty Bush baked beans can). I measure the temperature using the thermometer part of the PID hooked to a thermocouple which is stuffed inside the insulation near the wire core. The fueled core is made of ceramic, and my supplier tells me it contains about 1 gram a ‘Parkhomov mixture’ — nickel powder (90%) and lithium aluminum hydride powder (10%). It is sealed with a ceramic cement. It has been pre-baked by the supplier, so I have not done any special treatment on it.
The testing is simple. I set the output with the knob on the dimmer, then watch the temperature until it reaches a steady state. After that, I turn off the power, insert the core into the coil and start it up, keeping the power output the same. Then I watch until the temperature reaches a steady state.
This morning I did a test using this process. Here are the results. With an input of around 401 Watts (it fluctuated slightly), the empty coil reached a temperature of 802 C; with the same power input the temperature reached 875 C after I put the coil inside. I held the temperature for about 15 minutes in both cases. Unfortunately, after I turned off the power for the fueled test, when I turned it back on again, I found that the wire had broken, so I will have to wind some more cores before winding
I don’t want anyone to think of this being a scientific report, it’s just a post by someone tinkering in a garage — so take it for what it’s worth, but I found the results interesting and encouraging, and I want to do more and better tests. I hope to increase temperatures in the future — without burning out coils, which has been a problem so far.
I will be happy to answer any questions here, and will be happy to take suggestions.