More Helion Energy news....

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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Skipjack
Posts: 6079
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by Skipjack »

I agree. The NIAC funding was not quite enough to get this project completed, but I am sure that they will have enough funding once Helion get's their reactor going.

mvanwink5
Posts: 1811
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by mvanwink5 »

It may also be a function of the ability of Helion to handle another huge project. They are right in the middle of developing, building, testing their reactor. Likely they are not pushing this other project.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
Posts: 6079
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by Skipjack »

mvanwink5 wrote:It may also be a function of the ability of Helion to handle another huge project. They are right in the middle of developing, building, testing their reactor. Likely they are not pushing this other project.
Could very well be true.

crowberry
Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by crowberry »

There has not been much news from Helion Energy lately. Here is their job ad which tells a bit about what they are up to:
Bo Cole
Helion Energy | Talent Acquisition | Process Lover | Data Seeker | Relationship Builder

Helion Energy is building the world’s first clean, safe, fusion energy generator to battle climate change in a major way! We're looking for engineers and scientists with expertise in producing and handling medical radioisotopes to join our already amazing technical team. Working with our diverse team of scientists and engineers you will help design, implement, and test medical isotope and fusion fuel storage, injection, purification, and handling systems. You’ll be leveraging the industry’s vast knowledge of related research to invent commercially-relevant systems and get in on the ground floor of a dynamic, world leading, clean energy company.


Note: This is an on-site role in our Redmond, WA office and requires US Citizenship


Responsibilities

Lead all steps of the design and implementation of Helium-3 and related radioisotope storage, purification, and processing systems
Build and test prototype gas handling systems
Perform theoretical and experimental materials, thermal management, and radiochemistry analyses
Ensure all required safety, licensing, and regulatory processes and registrations are acquired and current


You will enjoy this role if you...

Are enthusiastic about ending climate change

Are passionate about learning all there is to know in a deeply technical fields – and inventing what is not yet known

Care deeply about building safe, reliable commercial systems

Learn quickly and thrive in a rapidly changing environment


Requirements

MS or Ph.D. in related disciplines
Detailed knowledge of the transport and chemical phenomena of volatile gases with vacuum seals, pumps, etc.
4+ years of hands-on work experience in radiochemistry, radiopharmaceuticals, and/or radioisotope production
Related certifications (CGMP, NQA-1, RSO, CHP) preferred


About Helion Energy

Helion Energy is the world’s leading fusion energy company – we aren’t just dreamers with an idea, we are a world class team realizing a goal - making safe, clean, energy a reality today. Helion has broken the traditional barriers that have held fusion back, is a decade ahead of any other competitor, and will finally be addressing climate change on a scale that makes a real difference.
https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/radi ... 1892053323

mvanwink5
Posts: 1811
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by mvanwink5 »

TriAlpha also is scrounging for revenue outside of the fusion business model. No one it seems is either reaching their performance targets needed to secure the next massive investments needed for the big machines or investors have withered on the vine due to the China Virus killing investment.

The cost of oil tanking can't be helping either.

So, this kind of news smells bad for the big machine funding. That is my read on it at least....
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

crowberry
Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by crowberry »

I think it is a good thing that spin off technologies from fusion can start to generate revenue to help directly the fusion development and also indirectly by increasing the chances of new investements.

Skipjack
Posts: 6079
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by Skipjack »

Helion has been slowly inching towards break even. Unfortunately they are extremely tight lipped about their progress. They have been even more so since the Alpha program ended.
The information that I think I can disclose is putting them somewhere in the 10^20 keV * s/m3 range. Note that those are with their last prototype Venti.
Helion was very happy with Venti which exceeded expectations on confinement and neutron production by a factor of two. That is the reason why they decided to skip ARPA- E Alpha Phase 3 for Venti (10->20 Tesla) and move on to the new, bigger prototype instead. That one has been running for almost 1 1/2 years now though. So they should have improved their numbers significantly by now.
To my understanding, their results with Venti also excluded them from getting funding through ARPA- E BETHE which put a rather arbitrary limit for participants in the concept category at 10^19 keV * s/m3.
Helion decided not to apply for the other categories of BETHE as they have enough funds to keep going (as can be seen from their constant hiring).

Another bit of information is that they seem to be very happy with their ability to recapture a good share of the power they are putting into the reactor for each pulse. David has been emphasizing that this is one key aspect that makes their technology superior to other fusion reactor concepts. How much exactly they can recapture is unfortunately a well kept secret. What I do know is that it is good enough for their reactor to be economic with a Q of 5 vs 30+ for other reactor designs (e.g.Tokamaks). So make your own conclusions about that.
Last edited by Skipjack on Sat Aug 15, 2020 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Giorgio
Posts: 2757
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Location: China, Italy

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by Giorgio »

Skipjack wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:34 pm
Another bit of information is that they seem to be very happy with their ability to recapture a good share of the power they are putting into the reactor for each pulse. David has been emphasizing that this is one key aspect that make their technology superior to other fusion reactor concepts. How much exactly they can recapture is unfortunately a well kept secret. What I do know is that it is good enough for their reactor to be economic with a Q of 5 vs 30+ for other reactor designs (e.g.Tokamaks). So make your own conclusions about that.
If this is true (and I do not see any reason why they should lie considering that they are not looking for new funding) this single ability would put them on the forefront of all other contestant for the adoption of future fusion technology.
Very interesting piece of info, thanks!
A society of dogmas is a dead society.

crowberry
Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by crowberry »

Skipjack wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:34 pm
Helion has been slowly inching towards break even. Unfortunately they are extremely tight lipped about their progress. They have been even more so since the Alpha program ended.
The information that I think I can disclose is putting them somewhere in the 10^20 keV * s/m3 range. Note that those are with their last prototype Venti.
Helion was very happy with Venti which exceeded expectations on confinement and neutron production by a factor of two.
Nice to see you back on TP after the break Skipjack!

It is interesting what you report about Helion Energy as they have really been secretive the last few years about their achievements and activities. Out of curiosity I ask how you know what Helion Energy is doing?

TAE Technology was really secretive to the public and without a website for many years, but they kept publishing patents and conference contributions. Helion Energy has a website, but they almost never update it, but they don't seem to publish papers nor patents since several years.

Skipjack
Posts: 6079
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by Skipjack »

crowberry wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:49 pm
Nice to see you back on TP after the break Skipjack!
Thanks bud! It is good to be back. After all these years, everyone here is a bit like extended family to me. Hope to see more people return now that the forum is back up!
crowberry wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:49 pm
It is interesting what you report about Helion Energy as they have really been secretive the last few years about their achievements and activities. Out of curiosity I ask how you know what Helion Energy is doing?

TAE Technology was really secretive to the public and without a website for many years, but they kept publishing patents and conference contributions. Helion Energy has a website, but they almost never update it, but they don't seem to publish papers nor patents since several years.
Most of the things that I have said are actually available to the public, if you know where to look. I post updates here occasionally. There are also personal reasons why I know a few small(!) extra bits every now and then. Though, I should add that my access is rather limited and on top of that, I can't always say all the things I know.
TAE and Helion are in different positions.
Helion (for now) has enough funding to do what they need to do, while TAE needs A LOT of money in order to move forward.
They also are rather far behind Helion in many aspects. E.g. Helion has achieved fusion (and the neutrons to proof it) a long time ago and they are quite ahead of TAE in terms of triple product. Now, I don't want to seem like I am bashing TAE. Their approach is very different (steady state vs pulsed) and they are reaching much higher. Helion is taking a sort of "low hanging fruit" approach. That has always been their thing. Originally they wanted to "just" do fusion- fission- hybrids (for a start anyway), which don't even require a Q of 1 to work. Unfortunately, as I am told, fusion- fission- hybrids are a tough sell. It is mainly a cultural problem. The fission guys don't want any of that "complicated fusion stuff" and the fusion guys don't want any of that "dirty fission stuff" (both is pretty silly in a way but shows that people have their prejudices and biases).
In a way (and I am conjecting from history here, so take this with a grain of salt), this might have harmed their ability to attract funding in the early days. After that, they looked into T+D fusion as an intermediate step, especially when it came to government grants. The government does not seem to "believe" that "advanced" fuels like D+He3 would be viable any time soon. The thing is though, that Helion's reactor design is very suitable for D+He3 (or it should probably be better referred to as He3 boosted D+D) for a lot of reasons that (I believe) were sufficiently discussed here earlier.

The other reason why Helion is so quiet is that they got burned, badly(!) in the early days, when they were actively looking for funding. Back then, they released some forward looking statements that assumed perfect funding and manpower and pretty much everything going exactly as planned. The science press took and reported that as "will happen that way", which created a lot of hype. The problem was that the funding for that sort of accelerated progress was simply not there at the time. So they of course could not get there within those (ideal) time frames. That in turn caused critics to denounce them as "unreliable" and"not trustworthy". One website even called them "a fraud". Thankfully, they were able to get funding through ARPA-E. ARPA-E was literally a life line (and has been to many small scale fusion outfits). When Helion reached or even exceeded their ARPA- E milestones, the private funding started coming in as it validated them as being able to achieve what they promised. Then they got more funding through ARPA-E Alpha, which gave them the opportunity to gain more investor confidence by demonstrating some of the more risky concepts. Now they have enough funding to go forward and they have a full scale (or near full scale) prototype operational. I am not trying to overhype them. To my understanding, there are still a few things that could go wrong. That is another reason why they are so quiet. No more hype creating promises. David Kirtley said that he won't publish any result until they are peer reviewed and even then he is hesitant. And quite frankly, they don't need to right now.
One thing that should be sort of telling is that they have been (very) actively hiring...

williatw
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Location: Ohio

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by williatw »

Thx for the comments Skipjack; any guesses as to how soon they will reach breakeven? And if it works out are there any rocket propulsion applications that you know of for their design?

Skipjack
Posts: 6079
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by Skipjack »

Helion is very tight lipped about these things right now. What I can say is that their new reactor is significantly larger than Venti. Venti was supposed to get close to notional break even with 20 Tesla magnets in Phase 3 of Alpha, which they skipped in favor of the new prototype. So you can make your own guesses here.
As for propulsion applications: It could theoretically be used if you opened up one end and let the plasma out that way, but I think there are better designs for this application. Don't forget that MSNW (which Helion essentially spun off from) has a design for an actual fusion rocket engine (Fusion Driven Rocket, which is much more suitable for this. Unfortunately that one is not funded right now.

williatw
Posts: 1893
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by williatw »

Skipjack wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:37 pm
As for propulsion applications: It could theoretically be used if you opened up one end and let the plasma out that way, but I think there are better designs for this application. Don't forget that MSNW (which Helion essentially spun off from) has a design for an actual fusion rocket engine (Fusion Driven Rocket, which is much more suitable for this. Unfortunately that one is not funded right now.
Ashamed to admit that I didn't know that Helion was affiliated with that; especially considering that it is apparently my current favorite fusion rocket design by John Slough:

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/file ... tagged.pdf

This looks like very much a 1.0 version so to speak. Sure it could be scaled up to GW or even TW power levels especially assuming Musk's Starship heavy lift reusable booster to launch the components into orbit for the inevitable larger higher power version(s) if it worked out (and got funding).

crowberry
Posts: 525
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Post by crowberry »

Skipjack wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:47 am
crowberry wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:49 pm
Nice to see you back on TP after the break Skipjack!
Thanks bud! It is good to be back. After all these years, everyone here is a bit like extended family to me. Hope to see more people return now that the forum is back up!
crowberry wrote:
Sat Aug 22, 2020 4:49 pm
It is interesting what you report about Helion Energy as they have really been secretive the last few years about their achievements and activities. Out of curiosity I ask how you know what Helion Energy is doing?

TAE Technology was really secretive to the public and without a website for many years, but they kept publishing patents and conference contributions. Helion Energy has a website, but they almost never update it, but they don't seem to publish papers nor patents since several years.
Most of the things that I have said are actually available to the public, if you know where to look. I post updates here occasionally. There are also personal reasons why I know a few small(!) extra bits every now and then. Though, I should add that my access is rather limited and on top of that, I can't always say all the things I know.
TAE and Helion are in different positions.
Helion (for now) has enough funding to do what they need to do, while TAE needs A LOT of money in order to move forward.
They also are rather far behind Helion in many aspects. E.g. Helion has achieved fusion (and the neutrons to proof it) a long time ago and they are quite ahead of TAE in terms of triple product. Now, I don't want to seem like I am bashing TAE. Their approach is very different (steady state vs pulsed) and they are reaching much higher. Helion is taking a sort of "low hanging fruit" approach. That has always been their thing. Originally they wanted to "just" do fusion- fission- hybrids (for a start anyway), which don't even require a Q of 1 to work. Unfortunately, as I am told, fusion- fission- hybrids are a tough sell. It is mainly a cultural problem. The fission guys don't want any of that "complicated fusion stuff" and the fusion guys don't want any of that "dirty fission stuff" (both is pretty silly in a way but shows that people have their prejudices and biases).
In a way (and I am conjecting from history here, so take this with a grain of salt), this might have harmed their ability to attract funding in the early days. After that, they looked into T+D fusion as an intermediate step, especially when it came to government grants. The government does not seem to "believe" that "advanced" fuels like D+He3 would be viable any time soon. The thing is though, that Helion's reactor design is very suitable for D+He3 (or it should probably be better referred to as He3 boosted D+D) for a lot of reasons that (I believe) were sufficiently discussed here earlier.

The other reason why Helion is so quiet is that they got burned, badly(!) in the early days, when they were actively looking for funding. Back then, they released some forward looking statements that assumed perfect funding and manpower and pretty much everything going exactly as planned. The science press took and reported that as "will happen that way", which created a lot of hype. The problem was that the funding for that sort of accelerated progress was simply not there at the time. So they of course could not get there within those (ideal) time frames. That in turn caused critics to denounce them as "unreliable" and"not trustworthy". One website even called them "a fraud". Thankfully, they were able to get funding through ARPA-E. ARPA-E was literally a life line (and has been to many small scale fusion outfits). When Helion reached or even exceeded their ARPA- E milestones, the private funding started coming in as it validated them as being able to achieve what they promised. Then they got more funding through ARPA-E Alpha, which gave them the opportunity to gain more investor confidence by demonstrating some of the more risky concepts. Now they have enough funding to go forward and they have a full scale (or near full scale) prototype operational. I am not trying to overhype them. To my understanding, there are still a few things that could go wrong. That is another reason why they are so quiet. No more hype creating promises. David Kirtley said that he won't publish any result until they are peer reviewed and even then he is hesitant. And quite frankly, they don't need to right now.
One thing that should be sort of telling is that they have been (very) actively hiring...
Thank you Skipjack for your comparison of Helion Energy and TAE. You are right about that Helion Energy is hiring more and more people. Currently they have this list of open positions:
Engineer, Fusion
Redmond Washington

Engineer, Radioisotope
Redmond Washington

Engineer, Simulation ( ANSYS )
Redmond Washington

Engineer, Thermal
Redmond Washington

Engineer/Scientist, Materials
Redmond Washington

Glassblower, Senior
Redmond Washington

Group Leader, Capacitor Development & Production
Redmond Washington

Mechanical Assembler
Redmond Washington

Principal Engineer, Electrical Engineering
Redmond Washington

Scientist, Nuclear
Redmond Washington

Scientist, Plasma - Computational
Redmond Washington

Scientist, Plasma - Experimental
Redmond Washington

Systems Engineer, Mechanical
Redmond Washington
https://jobs.lever.co/helionenergy

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