More Helion Energy news....

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

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Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:50 pm

Guess Next Big Future picked up on my earlier post here and added some new, extra information. We finally get to see a picture of their new prototype!
http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/07/helion ... .html#more

Betruger
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Betruger » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:46 pm

Full res pics from that pdf
Image
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mvanwink5
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:52 pm

From NBF article:
Helion Energy is seeking a $35M Series B. This three year round has several funding gates and will demonstrate a reactor scale fusion core that will exceed the performance of any fusion energy source ever built. Series B will also demonstrate direct electricity generation and finalize the commercial power plant design. Subsequently, a commercial 50 MW pilot plant will be constructed over a two year period.

This funding announcement is a major step, it is huge, it means they have a business plan laid out, but there is no mention of it on Helion's web site??? I wonder who their funding broker is and where the listing is?
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:21 pm

Full res pics from that pdf

Ther first one is the current, 4th gen test reactor. The other two show older generations.
I think that these PDFs and other info that is floating around are in preparation for the release of their new papers based on the research with the new reactor. I have been bugging David Kirtley for information about their latest experiments with the new test reactor, but he has not gotten back to me. I guess he is really busy and/or he they are preparing to release something big.
My guess is that once the new papers will be out, the flood gates will open and we will see a large amount of new information all over the place.

mvanwink5
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:45 pm

Skipjack,
Any confirmation that Helion Fusion is going for $35 million series B funding, and any details on who is the broker?
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:50 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:Skipjack,
Any confirmation that Helion Fusion is going for $35 million series B funding, and any details on who is the broker?

Unfortunately, I know exactly as much as you do :(
I wished, I knew more. I want to spread the word a bit and stuff. I hope they will release more information soon.

crowberry
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby crowberry » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:55 pm

After the ARPA-E workshop held on October 29-30 2013 there was a couple of more presentations published on the webpage. This interesting report is dated January 6th 2014 and it contains a couple of pages dedicated also to Helion Energy:
Breakout: Path to Economical Fusion Power Part II
Driver and target development for new reactor concepts

Breakout: Report Back

ARPA-hard challenges:
- Recirculating power. Reclaiming 90% of power from the magnetic field into a capacitor. Inductive losses may be significant
- Need to understand how to do switching for a rep-rated system that lasts for a long time.
- Wall lifetime: Estimates from 1 month to 1 year.

Helion Energy is covered on pages 4 to 10 of the report at
http://www.arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/Economical_Fusion_Concepts_Report_Out.pdf

Based on this it looks like Helion Energy has as much issues to work on as the other private fusion companies.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:25 am

crowberry wrote:
Based on this it looks like Helion Energy has as much issues to work on as the other private fusion companies.

I disagree for the following reasons:
1. Reclaiming power from the magnetic field is AFAIK the ideal solution. If this can not be done, a steam cycle (as originally proposed) or some other method for extraction of energy might still be used. That would of course be a lot less ideal and would also increase the cost of the operation.
2. Switches are an issue for all pulsed fusion systems.
3. Wall life time is as far as I understand only relevant for the burn chamber, which is only a small part of the system that can probably be replaced quite easily (unlike ITER). Some of the research done for ITER might actually provide a good solution for this as well.

All in all it seems like these issues are comparably small. If we cant build switches that are good enough for this after solving all the other fusion related problems, we are doomed as a species anyway.
Also want to say that the other teams seem to have much more fundamental issues on top of the switches, even General Fusion. Helions issues are purely operation related issues, not issues with getting the fusion reaction going.
Last edited by Skipjack on Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

MSimon
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby MSimon » Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:08 am

Switches. There are now high current FETs rated at 4.5Kv And that number goes up about 50% every few years. At some point we will get the switches needed.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

zapkitty
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby zapkitty » Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:31 am

Skipjack wrote:I disagree for the following reasons:
1. Reclaiming power from the magnetic field is AFAIK the ideal solution. If this can not be done...


Unless I'm missing something here (always a possibility) it can be done only to the extent that the neutrons deposit their energy in the charged fusion products. Otherwise the neutrons exit stage left... and take ~80% of the energy of the reaction with them.

If that's the case then there's not going to be a great deal of energy left over for export to the grid.

To quote something I wrote over at FFS:

Their current PR push can be a bit… misleading. Unless it’s parsed carefully you could almost swear it was an aneutroic fusion design.

crowberry
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby crowberry » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:58 am

General Fusion has the best solution to containing the 14 MeV neutrons from the D-T reaction and breeding tritium, but I'm not so sure how well Helion Energy will be able to contain the neutrons and generate tritium. I agree that having a separate burn chamber eases the maintenance of it, but it could require costly remote operations as has been foreseen on ITER. Neither the acoustic compression by General Fusion nor the magnetic compression by Helion Energy has yet demonstrated break even. The different fusion concepts have different advantages and difficulties, but they all have to first demonstrate scientific break even and then technological feasibility. In this sense I think that they all have equal amounts of work remaining, including Helion Energy.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:17 pm

crowberry wrote:General Fusion has the best solution to containing the 14 MeV neutrons from the D-T reaction and breeding tritium, but I'm not so sure how well Helion Energy will be able to contain the neutrons and generate tritium. I agree that having a separate burn chamber eases the maintenance of it, but it could require costly remote operations as has been foreseen on ITER. Neither the acoustic compression by General Fusion nor the magnetic compression by Helion Energy has yet demonstrated break even. The different fusion concepts have different advantages and difficulties, but they all have to first demonstrate scientific break even and then technological feasibility. In this sense I think that they all have equal amounts of work remaining, including Helion Energy.

Helion has the scaling laws confirmed, which is the only thing in their way. Now they need to scale up to a bigger device, which is what they need the money for.
The neutron damage is confined to a very small region of the device. Yes, it will have similar issues to ITER, but at a much smaller scale with much simpler geometry to handle (simple cylinder instead of torus).

zapkitty wrote:
Skipjack wrote:I disagree for the following reasons:
1. Reclaiming power from the magnetic field is AFAIK the ideal solution. If this can not be done...


Unless I'm missing something here (always a possibility) it can be done only to the extent that the neutrons deposit their energy in the charged fusion products. Otherwise the neutrons exit stage left... and take ~80% of the energy of the reaction with them.

If that's the case then there's not going to be a great deal of energy left over for export to the grid.

To quote something I wrote over at FFS:

Their current PR push can be a bit… misleading. Unless it’s parsed carefully you could almost swear it was an aneutroic fusion design.


I felt the same way. The wording was indeed a bit ambiguous, but I am not sure this was intentional. There is the very small possibility that their experimental results with the new test device have been so good, that they are now aiming for DD fusion instead of DT. It may also be possible that they have figured out a way to reclaim a lot more of the energy from the fusion products than they originally deemed possible. I really hope we will see a new paper released soon, that will give us a better idea of what is going on there. In any case, I find their updates very promising. They actually sound more optimistic now than they did before.

AcesHigh
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby AcesHigh » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:12 am

@Skipjack: holy patience you had arguing with the troll at NBF.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:49 pm

Here is another cool article about Helion that I had not seen yet. Some great, new information there. It looks like their updated design is even more promising.
From what I understand they have now updated their design to a sort of D+D - D+T hybrid, which drastically reduces the need for tritium breeding and makes the neutron shielding of the burn chamber a lot easier. It seems like they will be using a FLiBe molten salt for that.
Also wonder how well their design lends itself to a catalyzed DD fusion type approach, where they remove the tritium between pulses and let it decay to He3 for fueling the plant (improving output over DD).
Once again the guys at Helion show how an elegant design can side step the problems associated with neutronic fusion instead of battling them head on (like ITER does) or insisting on a aneutronic fusion.
http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/ ... r-fission/

mvanwink5
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:31 pm

That article is from April 2013. Nice article though.
The more earthly Fusion Engine has received about $7 million in funds from DOE, the Department of Defense and NASA. The company hopes to raise another $2 million by next year, $35 million in 2015-17, and $200 million for its pilot plant stage.
so, it does not give any insight into the $35 million series B funding.

I assume the 28 M length is a typo, 28 ft?
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.


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