Blower Gun pellet injection system for W7-X

M. Dibon, J. Baldzuhn, M. Beck, A. Cardella, F. Köchl, G. Kocsis, P. T. Lang, R. Macian-Juan, B. Ploeckl, T. Szepesi, W. Weisbart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Foreseen to perform pellet investigations in the new stellarator W7-X, the former ASDEX Upgrade Blower Gun was revised and revitalized. The systems operational characteristics have been surveyed in a test bed. The gun is designed to launch cylindrical pellets with 2 mm diameter and 2 mm length, produced from frozen deuterium D2, hydrogen H2 or a gas mixture consisting of 50% H2 and 50% D2. Pellets are accelerated by a short pulse of pressurized helium propellant gas to velocities in the range of 100-250 m/s. Delivery reliabilities at the launcher exit reach almost unity. The initial pellet mass is reduced to about 50% during the acceleration process. Pellet transfer to the plasma vessel was investigated by a first mock up guiding tube version. Transfer through this S-shaped stainless steel guiding tube (inner diameter 8 mm; length 6 m) containing two 1 m curvature radii was investigated for all pellet types. Tests were performed applying repetition rates from 2 Hz to 50 Hz and propellant gas pressures ranging from 0.1 to 0.6 MPa. For both H2 and D2, low overall delivery efficiencies were observed at slow repetition rates, but stable efficiencies of about 90% above 10 Hz. About 10% of the mass is eroded while flying through the guiding tube. Pellets exit the guiding tube with an angular spread of less than 14°.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1762
Number of pages4
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015



  • Pellet injection
  • Plasma fuelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Dibon, M., Baldzuhn, J., Beck, M., Cardella, A., Köchl, F., Kocsis, G., Lang, P. T., Macian-Juan, R., Ploeckl, B., Szepesi, T., & Weisbart, W. (2015). Blower Gun pellet injection system for W7-X. Fusion Engineering and Design, 98-99, 1759-1762.