More Helion Energy news....

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

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crowberry
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby crowberry » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:05 pm

Helion Energy has this seven page presentation from the 23rd of October 2015 on their plans at the ARPA-E website :
Staged Magnetic Compression of FRC Targets to Fusion Conditions
John Slough, PI
Helion Energy:
David Kirtley, CEO


The plan is to use the ARPA-E funding to develop and build the following experiments:
ARPA-E
VENTI 12 Tesla Compression
FEP 20 Tesla Compression
FEP-G 40 Tesla Reactor


http://arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default/files/KIRTLEY.pdf

D Tibbets
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby D Tibbets » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:49 am

40 Tesla fields. That seems very ambitious. Such intensities are a challenge for even small dedicated machines without a need for walls and plasma handling considerations.

https://nationalmaglab.org/news-events/ ... ing-magnet


What B field strengths have they worked with? What is the goal for a break even machine?

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:05 am

The last plans that I heard of, were that they wanted to get to a 10 tesla performance for the breakeven device to be tested this year.
A reactor that proves commercial energy gain would be a 50 Megawatt system built in 2019 and according to the last plans I read, would need only 12 tesla fields.
Anything beyond that would have been needed for their goals of miniaturization in the future.
I guess that the funding from ARPA-E was convenient at this point, even if it is not really needed for a full commercial reactor. It is also possible that they learned something from recent experiments that means they need higher field strengths for the commercial reactor.
This would be complete news to me, though and I somewhat doubt that to be the case.
It is also worth noting, that the fields only need to be pulsed, not continuous, which makes quite a difference.
According to their website, they have previously demonstrated compression fields greater than 100 Tesla.
I am not 100% sure, but I think their last experimental reactor, Grande achieved 20 Tesla fields in an experiment.

Maui
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Maui » Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:02 am

I apologize if this has been discussed elsewhere, but can someone explain what they mean when they say they plan to recapture the helium and reuse it (solving supply problems). Do they mean just the un-reacted He-3?

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:26 am

Maui wrote:I apologize if this has been discussed elsewhere, but can someone explain what they mean when they say they plan to recapture the helium and reuse it (solving supply problems). Do they mean just the un-reacted He-3?

What they are doing is fuse Deuterium with Deuterium as well as 3He with D.
When you fuse D+D, you get a 3He as a product in one branch and a Tritium in another. They are talking about capturing this 3He and feeding it back into the reactor. The Tritium with a half life of about 12 years will also beta- decay into more 3He. Though it is not sure whether it makes sense to deal with that, or not. There are a few issues with T that could make it more cost effective to just sell it (it is quite valuable).

D Tibbets
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby D Tibbets » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:08 am

Maui wrote:I apologize if this has been discussed elsewhere, but can someone explain what they mean when they say they plan to recapture the helium and reuse it (solving supply problems). Do they mean just the un-reacted He-3?


With little specifics on their plans, I will still speculate on possible paths they may be considering. The D-He3 fusion cross section peak is at a higher temperature than likely D-D or D-T cross section target temperatures. The base D-D reactions may be sufficient at a temperature of ~ 60 KeV. This is a little above the D-T fusion cross section peak, but still well below the D-He3 target which may be ~ 100-120 KeV.
Assuming the FRC plasma is thermalized, the fusion ions will thermalize with the deuterium, perhaps even reaching ignition conditions (self heating).
Under these example conditions., the initial pure deuterium fuel will fuse at hopefully adequate levels and produce tritium and He3. The D-D reactions may not be reaching breakeven, but the tritium produced will rapidly react with additional deuterium to produce ~ 4 times as much energy per reaction and perhaps have near complete burn up of the tritium. In this situation, I think the D-T secondary reactions would produce most of the fusion energy, driving the system to profitability. Some small percentage of the He3 may react, but most may not. It would persist in the plasma until the end of the pulse. The plasma is then exhausted and the He3 is collected and purified. It is a valuable end product of the reactor. Any non reacted tritium would also need to be sequestered, perhaps more for safety reasons rather than as a commodity.

The advantage of utilizing produced tritium in this way is that it contributes considerably to the fusion power output, and it is essentially free. There is no complex tritium breading needed, you just use the side product tritium as is, there is no need to generate more tritium than you consume as there is with pure D-T fusion machines. This is similar to the so called 1/2 catalyzed D-D reaction that has been promoted for boosting Polywell yields. The difference is that in a Polywell, the produced tritium and He3 do not thermalize with the fuel deuterium, they naturally leave the system quickly and would need to be collected, and reinjected into the system at desired temperatures. A thermalized machine may not need this extra step. This may even be an attractive situation for Tokamaks as well, provided the temperatures can be pushed high enough for D-D reactions to proceed at an adequate rate (my impression is that this is highly unlikely).

As the He3 is a mostly unused product of the reactor it is available for collection for any appropriate use. Optimistically, several D-D reactors used for grid electricity production would produce enough He3 to power a dedicated D-He3 aneutronic reactor aboard an ocean ship or space ship. As such, the mining of He3 on the Moon is not needed, Adequate He3 would be available at very much cheaper prices.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:40 am

Dan, from what I understand, they want to remove the Tritium between pulses to avoid fusing it and instead separate it from the He3 and use the He3 in a self sustaining fuel cycle of D+D and D+He3. They want to keep the high energy neutrons in check to protect the reactor. They assume that the combined D+D and D+He3 fusion reactions will make the whole system economic enough to be competitive with coal. It wont be super effective, but good enough, especially due to the direct conversion that is possible with the charged fusion products.
This is what I read out of their patent posted here:
http://www.sumobrain.com/patents/wipo/A ... 3970A2.pdf

crowberry
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby crowberry » Tue May 17, 2016 3:26 pm

Helion Energy is hiring a Plasma Diagnostic Scientist http://careers.aps.org/jobs/8142852/plasma-diagnostic-scientist.

crowberry
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby crowberry » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:59 am

John Slough presented the status of Helion Energy at the 2016 ALPHA Annual Meeting with the talk Staged Magnetic Compression of FRC Targets to Fusion Conditions http://arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default/files/ALPHA_SLOUGH.pdf. The talk shows their latest device VENTI. They have also been working on simulations and show a comparison with experimental data. There is also an conceptual drawing of an assembly of fusion reactors to scale up the power.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:03 am

Yes, they are close :)

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:03 am

Moving the conversation over from the General Fusion Thread ( viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4529&p=126910#p126910 )to this thread:
mvanwink5 wrote:Reports. Why no reports on the plasma 'quality'? At this point Helion progress can't be gauged by published reports. Not publishing is not a good sign in my book.

What does plasma quality even mean? It is not a term in plasma physics that I have heard. Anyway, if you are interested in the details of the physics, I would direct you to the large quantity of basic FRC physics papers that (mostly) John Slough and David Kirtley have published for the last twenty years on how FRC plasmas work. The best would be LSX stability papers by Slough and the review papers by Tuszewski. There are a few on impurities and at what densities and timescales they matter, etc. Some google searches should help.

mvanwink5 wrote:If Helion is so far ahead they should be lining up serious, serious investor money like both TA and GF, and that requires reports, or at least it does for the two best funded companies TA and GF.

They are among the better funded companies out there. TAE and GF are the best funded, but Helion has some solid funding from both ARPA-E and VC now (among others from Mithril and Y Combinator).
Getting private funding for fusion projects is still very hard. Even Lockheeds reactor project was looking for funding for years.
Last edited by Skipjack on Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Munchausen
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Munchausen » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:20 pm


Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:56 pm

Good to see that they are getting their inventions protected.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:15 am

Got a little something for you guys :)
Helion has a new prototype. Looks shiny :)
HelionPrototype.jpg
HelionPrototype.jpg (177.45 KiB) Viewed 4126 times

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:05 am

Not Helion but about MSNW (Helion's parent so to speak). I missed this paper somehow earlier. It is about their Fusion Driven Rocket and updated plans as a result of the NIAC Phase II study. Interesting read regarding the results and issues they have encountered with the FDR concept. Still looks sound but requires more funding which has (to the best of my knowledge) not come about:
http://erps.spacegrant.org/uploads/imag ... 5-b-68.pdf


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