emc2's website

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

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rcain
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Postby rcain » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:24 pm

... not to mention economic arguments against a Tritium economy.

D Tibbets
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Postby D Tibbets » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:58 am

Tom Ligon wrote:The whole time I've known EMC2 the work has been DD, never DT.

Tritium is pretty dangerous stuff, and has strict licensing requirements. Even labs that intend to use DT for power production frequently do their preliminary work with DD. The reaction rates are far lower, but that simplifies their safety requirements. They will probably even dilute the fuel with hydrogen to further drop the rate. They can easily calculate what they would have gotten with DT.


Thus the Japanese claim that their Tokamac has exceeded breakeven- etrapolated from working with dilluted DD fuel (?).

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

cuddihy
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Postby cuddihy » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:22 pm

Ok, so based on this website update, here's what I get:
Phase 2: WB-8 Oct 2010: WB-8 polywell and DD scaling testing to be complete
Apr 2011: WB-8.1 polywell mods to be complete. testing data/ review from 8.0 to be complete
Oct 2011: WB-8.1 p-B testing and data review to be complete for aneutronic fusion.

Am I reading this thread right?

If so that says the earliest aneutronic fusion would be reported to be successful in sufficient form to really get the dollars flowing would be Oct 2011.

From there according to the website it's 4 years to completion of a working commercial demonstration reactor.

So we're to late 2015 to get a prototype done. I'm sure at this point the dollars start really flowing in, but no matter the amount of money it really is going to take a lot of time to get the industry ramped up to build these things.

At some point shortly after that the Air Force / OSD (assuming America is still around, as this is close to the financial doomsday our current policies are edging us towards) will probably determine that polywell technology is sufficiently advanced that a light, airborne variant can be made to support spaceflight. Assuming the work on electric-powered high-thrust rockets starts in 2015, it's possible that by 2020-2022 a prototype fully reusable polywell-powered SSTO will be starting envelope expansion testing.

Could be successful & in full production of reliable versions by 2030.

Maybe I could afford to go to space then (I'll be retired by then).


Sigh. As Glenn Reynolds says, faster please.

Tom
Tom.Cuddihy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Faith is the foundation of reason.

mvanwink5
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Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:23 pm

cuddihy wrote:Ok, so based on this website update, here's what I get:
Phase 2: WB-8 Oct 2010: WB-8 polywell and DD scaling testing to be complete
Apr 2011: WB-8.1 polywell mods to be complete. testing data/ review from 8.0 to be complete


DD success is good enough for the huge electric utility market. I am not sure how a boiler retrofit would work though. If boiler steam flow, pressures, and temperatures could be matched, then it would be a simple boiler replacement. If not, then pB-11 would be the best bet for quick (but more involved) retrofits. Anybody know if polywell can be dialed in to generate 1000 F steam? That should do the trick for a boiler replacement.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

icarus
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Postby icarus » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:13 pm

Phase 2: WB-8 Oct 2010: WB-8 polywell and DD scaling testing to be complete
Apr 2011: WB-8.1 polywell mods to be complete. testing data/ review from 8.0 to be complete
Oct 2011: WB-8.1 p-B testing and data review to be complete for aneutronic fusion.

Am I reading this thread right?


No. You have omitted the Lawyering phases, we have evidence they are ramping up already. You got the DOE/govt. Lawyering phase and the EMC2 corporate Lawyering phase for starters.

And then anything this big is gonna attract a veritable army of lawyers, admin, accountant and sundry parasitical complexifiers solving self-generated probems whilst looking for a cut of the action. In fact, the bigger IT is perceived to be the more chance it will grind to a halt in a scrum of vested interests squabbling over 'their' slice of the pie. Kind of like banksters and congress divvying up taxes and the wealth/progress of nations but on a smaller scale.

zbarlici
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Postby zbarlici » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:08 am

...and while in the US time is wasted in the courts, in the East they``re busy catching up and surpassing the USA in every aspect of the polywell design, probably even getting a mars colony deployed before the court process is even done in the US.

derg
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Postby derg » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:34 pm

Net energy! A new era has dawned! Suddenly the sky goes dark with vultures...

TallDave
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Postby TallDave » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:13 pm

Robthebob wrote:really now? WB-8.1 is for testing burning pB11? I find that a bit hard to believe, I thought they would deal with the easier fuel before dealing with that.

They got that much confidence in the design?


Well, yeah. It's not like they're doing this in a tok, temp is just voltage so it shouldn't be that hard (and they are doing D-D first). But going from detectable alphas to net power from alphas... that's going to be quite a challenge, given brem and etc. (I was looking at my Glasstone and Lovberg the other day and the brem for p-11B energies looks to be in the gamma range, so I hope Rick has some good ideas.)

Then again, these fringe approaches to fusion (at least from a funding perspective) may go the path of "cold fusion"- interesting physics, but no practical applications.


That's the most likely scenario for any of them. But the more plausible ideas that are developed, the better the odds one of them will pan out.
n*kBolt*Te = B**2/(2*mu0) and B^.25 loss scaling? Or not so much? Hopefully we'll know soon...

D Tibbets
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Postby D Tibbets » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:00 pm

TallDave wrote:
Robthebob wrote:really now? WB-8.1 is for testing burning pB11? I find that a bit hard to believe, I thought they would deal with the easier fuel before dealing with that.

They got that much confidence in the design?


Well, yeah. It's not like they're doing this in a tok, temp is just voltage so it shouldn't be that hard (and they are doing D-D first). But going from detectable alphas to net power from alphas... that's going to be quite a challenge, given brem and etc. (I was looking at my Glasstone and Lovberg the other day and the brem for p-11B energies looks to be in the gamma range, so I hope Rick has some good ideas.)


I assume you are talking about drive voltages of perhaps 200-400 KeV when you talk about Brem radiation approaching gamma ray energies. But, remember, if the P-B11 reaction has any chance of net power in the Polywell the claim of cold electrons in the core region has to be valid. In the core where most of the fusion occurs and where most of the electron- ion collisions occur the electrons may have an average energy of only a few (10's?) of KeV.
The formation of a central vertual anode, while benificial for fusion as it indicates a good central ion confluence/ focus, would also tend to accelerate (or impeed the decelleration) of the electrons approaching the center. It would represent a knob that has to be adjusted to obtain the best compromise in performance.

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

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:38 pm

There's those knob thingy's again...

:D

TallDave
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Postby TallDave » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:55 am

Yep, there are some things they are planning to do with fuel mix too, according to Rick. So there's some reasonable hope we could get there.

For now, even getting detectable alphas from this kind of machine is probably noteworthy. Depending what happens with Focus Fusion and Tri-Alpha, Polywell might be the first "model reactor" type machine to do this. I can't recall hearing of any other entries that are up and running (Crossfire doesn't seem to be funded, and I'm not sure General Fusion's "steampunk" reactor approach benefits from aneutronic reactions or envisions them at all).
n*kBolt*Te = B**2/(2*mu0) and B^.25 loss scaling? Or not so much? Hopefully we'll know soon...

Robthebob
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Postby Robthebob » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:13 pm

when was the last time dr N had any real communication with this website? I was wondering where you got the information of the fuel mix in order to do pB11.
Throwing my life away for this whole Fusion mess.

billh
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Postby billh » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:34 pm

Robthebob wrote:when was the last time dr N had any real communication with this website? I was wondering where you got the information of the fuel mix in order to do pB11.


He was pretty active up until June 2009. Since then, not a peep.

Tom Ligon
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Postby Tom Ligon » Sat May 01, 2010 2:05 pm

Dr. Bussard had a paper on p-B11 fuel mix back in about 1991, posted on Askmar.com. That predicted 8:1 hydrogen to boron would be one factor to minimize bremsstrahlung radiation. In personal discussions he pointed out to me that the curve down in that range is relatively flat and tolerant to chsnges in the mix with not much effect.

Excess hydrogen does diminish the reaction rate. Less dilution might be possible if the electron kinetic energy in the center of the machine can be kept low. Since the 1991 work there have been additional insights as to the various energy exchange processes that tend to keep the electron energy levels from thermalizing. The third factor is control of the central virtual anode (overall fuel density). High density would increase both reaction rate and electron kinetic energy (hence brem). So there is obviousy a rather complex optimizaton to be worked out.

I presume the matter is much better looked in to now. With some data on the actual performance of Polywells, they probably have some insights as to the sorts of mix tests to run.

icarus
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Postby icarus » Sun May 02, 2010 12:12 am

Tom L.

With some data on the actual performance of Polywells ...


Hearsay. Officially, they don't got squat.


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