Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamos

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TallDave
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby TallDave » Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:33 pm

Ironically, this may actually make Polywells slightly less viable.

Remember, a major PW selling point is the reactor size, because of the distribution problems of really big reactors. If you make the distribution problem smaller, bigger reactors make more sense.

Of course that's all marginal next to the challenges of getting net power in the first place.
n*kBolt*Te = B**2/(2*mu0) and B^.25 loss scaling? Or not so much? Hopefully we'll know soon...

Netmaker
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby Netmaker » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:02 am

TallDave wrote:Ironically, this may actually make Polywells slightly less viable.

Remember, a major PW selling point is the reactor size, because of the distribution problems of really big reactors. If you make the distribution problem smaller, bigger reactors make more sense.

Of course that's all marginal next to the challenges of getting net power in the first place.



PW's size will still be a major selling point regardless of where it is placed in the energy transportation network.

The small reactor size allows for the efficiencies, quality control and cost management of volume manufacturing to kick in so that each power plant doesn't have to be a one-off.

That will dramatically affect the whole process of acquiring, siting, permitting, building, certifying and operating a power plant.

Having said that :) I wonder how a gas turbine power plant would compare to a PW of equivalent generating capacity in terms of being able to be mass produced and deployed. I would think the gas turbine plant will have a disadvantage from a fueling perspective.

DeltaV
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby DeltaV » Tue May 14, 2013 12:51 am


Tom Ligon
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby Tom Ligon » Sat May 18, 2013 2:01 am

None of you have mentioned the most futuristic aspect of this.

Now we know why the Enterprise transmits power all over the ship using plasma conduits. :D

Although, considering how many consoles explode in a shower of sparks, maybe a bit of AC power should still have its place.

TDPerk
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby TDPerk » Sat May 18, 2013 2:18 am

"Now we know why the Enterprise transmits power all over the ship using plasma conduits. :D"

Well someone is quite pleased with himself.
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Teemu
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby Teemu » Fri May 24, 2013 7:01 am

Maui wrote:
quixote wrote:Thanks, and good find, DeltaV. This is encouraging to me as it suggests an answer to the question of why Nebel would leave EMC if PolyWell was really viable.

Well, I would guess it does suggest that he expects a significantly greater chance the transformer thing will be viable than Polywell. I would suspect a viable Polywell is worth a lot more than $10B/year.



I'd say it says more about the viability of the projects than of the viability of the products.

Hasn't Polywell project has been somewhat stuck in financial limbo for what, a decade?

It goes something like this:

Most of the basic science is already done, now they need more money for the raw engineering crunch. But DoD can't give them as much funding as required for that, that would guarantee that DoE would get involved, and DoE would say that Polywell can't work, and DoE would block larger funding. So basically they have to figure out how to make impressive enough demonstration with lackluster funding, so that DoE can't say that Polywell wont work, so that proper funding can't be blocked.

edmeserve
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby edmeserve » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:00 pm

It looks like Nebel is giving a talk today at the American Physical Society Annual Meeting.

http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DPP13/Session/UP8.115




EM

Diogenes
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby Diogenes » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:17 pm

Maui wrote:
quixote wrote:Thanks, and good find, DeltaV. This is encouraging to me as it suggests an answer to the question of why Nebel would leave EMC if PolyWell was really viable.

Well, I would guess it does suggest that he expects a significantly greater chance the transformer thing will be viable than Polywell. I would suspect a viable Polywell is worth a lot more than $10B/year.




Gee, with an output on the order of 1-4 megavolts (if I remember correctly) for a PB11 Polywell, a DC to DC transformer might very well come in handy for something.


I wonder where he got the idea that such a thing might be needed?
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D Tibbets
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby D Tibbets » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:25 pm

More tidbits. Why Nebel left EMC2 is anyones guess. I believe he was chief scientist at the time, not CEO, and perhaps only salaried/ independent contractor. He may or may not have had any potential financial gains with EMC2 success. It seems more likely he is now in a more potentially financially rewarding situation.

As for size, Bussard compared the Polywell to a fission reactor core for energy density. Of course that doesn't consider the steam plant if needed. I suspect a gas turbine (jet engine) may be the most energy dense generator, but you need to supply huge quantities of fuel.

What is the Bismark device?

And a dated but perhaps interesting link to an oil industry site:

http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/ ... usion.html

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

Diogenes
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby Diogenes » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:28 pm

DeltaV wrote:This also makes me feel better about Nebel leaving (temporarily?) EMC2.

Nebel is the Polywell theorist. Park is the Polywell experimentalist. Nebel may simply have run out of things to do while Park collects data.



I quit posting in the theory threads because I felt we had exhausted all avenues of progress in the absence of experimental data to confirm or dispel various theories, such as edge annealing.


I fully understand how a theoretician would get tired of stabbing in the dark.


DeltaV wrote:Nebel may already be thinking about merging his transformer idea with a Polywell. What a great synergy that would be, assuming good DC-DC conversion efficiency, shared vacuum chamber, etc.



That was exactly my first thought. I also wondered if he got to thinking about the idea from pondering how best to convert the High DC output of a Polywell into useable power.



DeltaV wrote:It's not clear to me, however, how well this would integrate with Polywell's high-energy alpha particle stream outputs. Maybe direct-conversion (alphas-to-voltage) becomes simpler? But, if the DC-DC process requires a reasonably steady plasma, hitting that with GWs of alphas would be ill-advised. May need to stick with the baseline direct conversion grids feeding UHVDC to a separate DC-DC transformer in its own vacuum chamber.

Nebel's "Bismark" device (page 28) looks compact and is hopefully scalable.



Years ago, I think MSimon and I discussed the possibility of using a Pops mode of operation and generating a 60 hz output (sinusoidal DC) directly from the Polywell. Sinusoidally varying DC would couple fine through a custom made transformer and would produce a perfectly useable AC output.


The polywell can be looked at as a sort of big Vacuum tube amplifier after a Fashion. It would be more efficient to operate continuously, but that's provided the material can take it. Pulsing it gives the walls and Magrid a bit of a rest.
‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
— Lord Melbourne —

Diogenes
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby Diogenes » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:29 pm

ladajo wrote:There is certainly a need.




Good to see you here, despite the prick.
‘What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.’
— Lord Melbourne —

D Tibbets
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby D Tibbets » Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:05 am

Perhaps more information on Nebel's current efforts:

https://nimrodteam.org/meetings/team_mt ... tionv5.pdf

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

DeltaV
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby DeltaV » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:36 pm

Dan, same link as above.

Nebel and co-author Finn worked on POPS --
http://www.lanl.gov/expertise/profiles/view/john-finn
"Fluid and Kinetic Stability of Virtual Cathodes for the Periodically Oscillating Plasma Sphere (POPS)", R. A. Nebel and J. M. Finn, Phys. Plasmas 8, 1505 (2001).
"Kinetic and Fluid Calculations for the Periodically Oscillating Plasma Sphere", R. A. Nebel and J. M. Finn, Phys. Plasmas 7, 839 (2000).

Finn worked on a PIC simulation method that sounds useful for polyhedral arrays of tori --
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/253536535_An_Arbitrary_Curvilinear_Coordinate_PIC_Method
We demonstrate the feasibility of a new approach to the PIC method in which a grid generation strategy is coupled to a generalization of the PIC algorithm on the logical domain. Our grid generation strategy conforms to objects of arbitrary shape, eliminating such problems as stair-stepping along curved boundaries, and thus allows us to simulate complicated physical structures very accurately.

Nebel is also presenting four days from now at a steady-state plasma workshop at LANL --
https://fusion.gat.com/conferences/mhd13/agenda.html
18th Workshop on MHD Stability Control

MHD Control for Steady State Burning Plasmas

A Workshop at Santa Fe, New Mexico hosted by the Los Alamos National Laboratory November 18-20, 2013
[...following the 55th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics November 11-15, 2013, Denver, Colorado]

Wednesday

Session 7 Chair: D. Maurer Mode locking and special topics

9:50-10:10
R. Nebel TBA

Carl White
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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby Carl White » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:43 pm

So, if Rick Nebel knew firsthand that the Polywell works was going well, would it make sense to start work on transformer technology? Given the prospect of the arrival of abundant, inexpensive energy? Or is it a hint that perhaps the Polywell work is not going so well as might be hoped?

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Re: Rick Nebel Discussed DC Transformer Project in Los Alamo

Postby mvanwink5 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:31 am

Carl, there is more than one well funded fusion project shooting for commercial by 2020. In fact, other near term VC funded fusion efforts may have a better chance of grabbing the brass ring from Polywell. For instance I would count General Fusion Corp as a strong contender for succeeding. So, I think Rick just had an interest in his other projects, but that is just my own thinking.
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