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Convectron experiments at KEMA High Power Laboratory, Arnhem, The Netherlands, 1987
Keynote on background, history, past experiments and model progress to date
The origin of the idea
The idea of Dr Dijkhuis for the explanation of the phenomenon ball lightning and circuit breaker fireball dates back to 1978. In 1980 his first article on ball lightning appeared in the science magazine Nature, and this fact was also reported by the New York Times.
Establishment of plc Convectron and issue of shares
With two partners, he founded in 1983 the public limited company Convectron N.V. Two talked-about share issues in 1983 and 1986 were reasonably successful and provided the company with funds to validate the scientific model. Particularly due to the opposition from the Dutch fusion community, the revenue from the issues was however below the needed budget. The aim was development of a prototype of a small-scale nuclear fusion reactor.
Experiments with submarine propulsion batteries
Two daring test programs were pursued by the Predecessor of the current Company. The first with two submarine propulsion batteries in Rotterdam Waalhaven, resulting in fireball generation recorded on high-speed film.
Breakdown tests at KEMA High-Power Lab
Subsequently tests were carried out at the KEMA High-Power Laboratory in Arnhem, The Netherlands, under high-voltage breakdown conditions in rapid gas flow mixed with fuel for the fusion process.
Experiments broken off due to exhaustion of funds
In the crucial experiments at KEMA, measurements indicated presence of fusion reactions. But the tests had to be broken off when funds ran out in 1987 before confirmation of the initial promising results was possible.
Substantial advancement of scientific underpinning
Meanwhile the model has gained substantial further rigour and broadened its scientific basis. As well a new, third ignition method has been identified. These facts motivate fresh efforts for demonstrating a small-scale fusion reactor as viable technology.