2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

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

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

mvanwink5
Posts: 1808
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:10 pm

Skipjack, here is the full quote (I should have given that in the first place to give context, my mistake).
Richardson: We’ve struggled with getting the confinement and we’re probably at half of what we need. So we’re working on that…. The questions are, do we have the right water balloon, and can we improve our fingers so we don’t let any of the water balloon come through? On both those fronts we’ve made great improvements. Have we gotten to net-gain fusion conditions yet? No. Do I still believe we can get there? Yes. Has it taken longer than expected? Yes. Fusion is hard.

It seems to me GF was expecting to have met their net conditions before even that interview six months ago. Only time will tell if and when they will get there and in truth unless one is on the inside, there is no real way of gauging that.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

ladajo
Posts: 6204
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:18 pm
Location: North East Coast

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby ladajo » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:52 am

Well it would seem to be fair to say that insufficient plasma density is everyone's problem.
How they get there is another discussion.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

prestonbarrows
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:41 pm

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby prestonbarrows » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:33 am

mvanwink5 wrote:...
So, although the triple product is an excellent metric, it would seem to me it is useful only if resolution of the down stream issues are believable
...


The triple product only says anything about the physics, not the engineering feasibility. It is almost certain that the first few generations of break-even and net-power machines will not be feasible as actual power plants, even in the best case scenarios.

Even for the main-stream approaches like ITER, where most of the physics and scaling is well-understood, there still remain some pretty serious 'first-wall' engineering issues which could kill the idea of an economically feasible power reactor even if net-power is achieved. Fusion at levels meaningful for power generation puts out some pretty ridiculous particle flux (even higher than a fission reactor) that tears up many materials in a fairly short time. A big problem is there simply are not many ways to test how materials will stand up in these conditions because we have no way of fully creating those conditions without a power-sized reactor.

Most of the third-party approaches like tri-alpha, field reversed configurations, polywell etc. will all have similar issues for power reactor size machines. Dense plasma focus will also have to deal with electrode erosion, though that might not be a big issue since they should be able to be made relatively cheap and easy to swap out.

The most promising thing about general fusion in my opinion is how their process might inherently solve the first wall problems due to its liquid state.

Skipjack
Posts: 6014
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby Skipjack » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:53 pm

prestonbarrows wrote:A big problem is there simply are not many ways to test how materials will stand up in these conditions because we have no way of fully creating those conditions without a power-sized reactor.

Most of the third-party approaches like tri-alpha, field reversed configurations, polywell etc. will all have similar issues for power reactor size machines.

Tri Alpha, Helion and GF are a lot less affected by this than the DPF is. The first two have the "burn chamber" physically separated from the more expensive parts of the reactor that produce, stabilize and translate the plasma. So these parts wont get stressed as much by the radiation and will therefore last a lot longer. They are also really easy to replace due to the linear configuration.
GFs reactor walls are protected by the liquid lead- lithium- mixture. Their plasma injectors are separated from the "burn chamber" and thus also pretty well protected.
The DPF has the problem that the plasma generating part itself gets hit by the worst erosion effects and it has to be really precise. So even tiny erosions will (and have) cause issue.
I have been wondering how Sorlox handles this. I would assume that the amount of fusion in the plasma gradually increases as it goes down the spiral with the worst affected regions all the way down the spiral. There does not seem to be a way to replace these easily. So either the effects are negligible, or it does not matter (its cheap anyway). I would guess that if things got too bad, they could simply add a straight conical piece to the end (making the device only a little bit less compact).

prestonbarrows
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:41 pm

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby prestonbarrows » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:51 am

Can't say I'm the most familiar with tri-alpha's plans given their lack of public information. But assuming they are still talking about some type of field reversed configuration, there will be confinement magnets that are basically right next to where the fusion is happening; same general idea as ITER. Pretty much any magnetic confinement scheme will need superconducting coils for a full-scale power reactor to minimize losses. This means it is likely that the same first wall problems will crop up; neutrons cause superconductor materials to fail plus activation and heat load issues. This ends up requiring significant shielding between the plasma and magnets (leading to a need for much larger magnets).

It looks like tri-alpha are proposing going straight for p-B11 which would mean many of these neutron related problems could be avoided. BUT making p-B11 work is an enormous (and fairly unrealistic) jump if one can not even demonstrate break even with D-T which has orders of magnitude higher reaction cross-section and much less losses from Bremsstrahlung.

DPF is one case where the jump straight to p-B11 is remotely in the realm of reason. Simply because it is a pulsed device where no-one truly knows what is going on. There is a lot of room for happy surprises. The ultra dense conditions also possibly allow for photon re-absorption which would cut back on the effects of Bremsstrahlung. It gets hand-wavy fast though.

Again, General Fusion gets around all this since they don't rely on direct magnetic confinement and have a built-in shielding blanket from the liquid compressor. It would be very quick to turn their device into an actual power plant on the grid once they can reliably demonstrate net-gain pulses at a respectable rate. It is basically a plug-and-play replacement for any coal, gas, or nuclear plant; just needs a turbine slapped on. No exotic new technologies for direct energy conversion needed. It is not quite as sexy as other proposals, but practicality usually wins at the end of the day.

crowberry
Posts: 494
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby crowberry » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:16 am

mvanwink5 wrote:I have dim hopes of GF saying something during their March TED presentation. It would be great publicity.


I agree that any sigficant progress would be great news, but I doubt that GF will make a significant announcement at the March TED. They are still working on improving their plasma compression by a factor of two, so there will probably not be enough time before TED to make improvements, run the experiments,analyse the results, double check the results, run some new experiments for cross checking and analysing those results :

We need to hit some sort of characteristic of this plasma—like there has to be some numbers that we have to hit—but we’re not quite there yet. We’re within about a factor of two, but some numbers are missing.


http://www.straight.com/life/582666/geek-speak-michel-laberge-plasma-physicist-and-ted2014-speaker

crowberry
Posts: 494
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby crowberry » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:37 am

Skipjack wrote:
prestonbarrows wrote:A big problem is there simply are not many ways to test how materials will stand up in these conditions because we have no way of fully creating those conditions without a power-sized reactor.

Most of the third-party approaches like tri-alpha, field reversed configurations, polywell etc. will all have similar issues for power reactor size machines.


I have been wondering how Sorlox handles this. I would assume that the amount of fusion in the plasma gradually increases as it goes down the spiral with the worst affected regions all the way down the spiral. There does not seem to be a way to replace these easily. So either the effects are negligible, or it does not matter (its cheap anyway). I would guess that if things got too bad, they could simply add a straight conical piece to the end (making the device only a little bit less compact).


On the Sorlox webpage they claim that they are aiming for a power of 2 kW to 1 MW, which is even lower than the 5 MW that LPP is trying to reach. If their device works, then they are trying to scale it up to 1 - 10 MW. If they use D-D the neutron energy will mainly be 2.45 MeV. The part of the produced tritium that fuses will of course produce some 14.1 MeV neutrons. The device is designed to have the compressed plasma rotating in the burn chamber in the middle when the fusion reactions occur. So the radiation damage will be concentrated to that component, but looking at their photographs it looks like that it is replacable.

Even if GF has a nice solution to the first wall problem, they will need to create the reprocessing technology for extracting the tritium and helium and other materials from the molten PbLi mixture. This will also be a significant research and engineering effort before they can make a fusion power plant.

mvanwink5
Posts: 1808
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:44 pm

LPP's having a deep pocket NYC fund raiser...

GF's "Geek Speak" article is amazing, something I expect to be written from a normal liberal arts college educated journalist with a 1st grader's science understanding. "See Sally put the tiny things together and they become hot like a stove...We call that 'F-u-s-i-o-n.' It will be good for Sally's mom and her dog Spot because there will be no soot or scary 'Global Warming.'" My surprise was that the word length exceeded four letters. I hope the TED talk does not sound like that, after all most of the $5k/seat audience members are not expecting to understand anyway.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
Posts: 6014
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby Skipjack » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:32 pm

prestonbarrows wrote:Can't say I'm the most familiar with tri-alpha's plans given their lack of public information. But assuming they are still talking about some type of field reversed configuration, there will be confinement magnets that are basically right next to where the fusion is happening; same general idea as ITER. Pretty much any magnetic confinement scheme will need superconducting coils for a full-scale power reactor to minimize losses. This means it is likely that the same first wall problems will crop up; neutrons cause superconductor materials to fail plus activation and heat load issues. This ends up requiring significant shielding between the plasma and magnets (leading to a need for much larger magnets).

I am more familiar with Helion's design than Tri Alpha's but I am pretty sure that they are similar. Both are pulsed FRC- Colliding Beam designs.
A FRC plasmoid is created at each end of the device. The two plasmoids are accelerated, translated using pulsed magnetic fields until they are colliding in a central burn chamber. The burn chamber is surrounded by a simple cylindrical lithium blanket. All the expensive equipment is at the far ends of the device. I also think that at least Helion expects to get away without superconducting magnets.
One of the big Problems that ITER has is that the toroidal geometry makes replacement of damaged wall sections and layout of the lithium blankets difficult. This is not the case with Helion's linear device and I assume even less with Tri Alpha's (because of PB11). Their devices are also quite compact. Helions device is truck sized and produces 50MW. That and the comparably easy maintenance makes it attractive for smaller cities and communities. A tokamak based powerstation would have to produce several GW to be competitive and that means lots of demand on the grid infrastructure and a very centralized energy production.
Because of all this, a comparison to ITER is not entirely accurate.
http://helionenergy.com/?page_id=199

CellJeffe
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:39 pm

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby CellJeffe » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:16 pm

Although I am a lurker on the site, I thought that I would bring up today's NIF Nature publication where they claim power gains of 1.2-1.4 (energy out of pellet/energy hitting the pellet).
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/va ... 13008.html
Cheers

zapkitty
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:13 pm

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby zapkitty » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:52 pm

CellJeffe wrote:Although I am a lurker on the site, I thought that I would bring up today's NIF Nature publication where they claim power gains of 1.2-1.4 (energy out of pellet/energy hitting the pellet)...


This was covered here a while back. While it does mark real progress for the NIF work it carefully defines gain by omitting the energy losses incurred in getting the laser energy to the target... and those gigantic laser arrays lose quite a few megawatts between the wall plugs and the target.

... vision of lab techs actually plugging NIF lasers into 3-prong wall sockets :)

So the total energy budget for NIF shots is still very far from breakeven.

But, it is progress... and as NIF is actually a weapons program for firming up our bomb code results this is quite good news for the NIF's core work and their budget.

ladajo
Posts: 6204
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:18 pm
Location: North East Coast

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby ladajo » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:46 pm

Very far is an understatement. Like 90 Million Joules far.
They put 90 mil in and get 17K out. The best shot had 8K abosrbed with 17K out. That leaves 90 Mil lost to system ops.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Axil
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:34 am

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby Axil » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:01 pm

To conform with real science rather than fraud, I demand that another independent third party group of scientists replicate the results, and many more times all over the world. How do we know that the input power required to run the lasers is accurately measured, are the calorimeters property calibrated, or placed property? The list of possible errors not to mention self serving overestimations is a mile long for an experiment this complicated.



Why do the physicists accept this data as being accurate and true when it is nearly impossible to get them to believe in other science experimental evidence? Skepticism should be applied equally. The reporting of these unsupported experimental results is unprecedented in science and is just an obvious way to pull more money out of the near empty pockets of tax payers. And then there are the poor invertors that will lose millions on a possible fraud.

mvanwink5
Posts: 1808
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:43 pm

Axil try to keep the Rossi fringe stuff in the relegated thread. :roll:

This thread is for wild speculation on dark horse fusion projects that might be real run by real scientists without criminal records. :lol:
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
Posts: 6014
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: 2014 Dark Horse Trifecta Year?

Postby Skipjack » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:09 am

Axil wrote:To conform with real science rather than fraud, I demand that another independent third party group of scientists replicate the results, and many more times all over the world. How do we know that the input power required to run the lasers is accurately measured, are the calorimeters property calibrated, or placed property? The list of possible errors not to mention self serving overestimations is a mile long for an experiment this complicated.
Why do the physicists accept this data as being accurate and true when it is nearly impossible to get them to believe in other science experimental evidence? Skepticism should be applied equally. The reporting of these unsupported experimental results is unprecedented in science and is just an obvious way to pull more money out of the near empty pockets of tax payers. And then there are the poor invertors that will lose millions on a possible fraud.

First of all, their fusion device is based on known principles that have been published and reviewed. There is no "black box". We know exactly what is going on in there. Also the review of the project already began before it was even funded. That said, I am not a big fan of NIF for so many reasons. The way they are promoting themselves in the public eye to secure government funding which borders on dishonesty is one of them.


Return to “News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests