General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

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crowberry
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General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

Postby crowberry » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:14 am

Michel Laberge will speak at TEDx Kansas City on the 9th of August. The schedule at http://www.tedxkc.org/#section-46 is unfortunately not very detailed. There is a live stream URL for the event at http://new.livestream.com/tedx/TEDxKC2014. It will be interesting to see if the presentation is different from the previous TED talk with some technical news on General Fusions progress, but it might be that the TEDx talk is rather similar to the TED talk and low on news content.

crowberry
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Re: General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

Postby crowberry » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:40 pm

While Michel Laberge was in Kansas City for the TEDxKC, he gave this radio interview of 12 min 26 s to KCUR. The interview can be listened to at http://kcur.org/post/tedxkc-fission-fusion. The discussion is nice but very non technical, so no new technical details on the progress of General Fusion are revealed.

mvanwink5
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Re: General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:31 am

My guess is that there is only so much GF can do with their current set up. They don't seem to be doing any more explosion assisted plasma compressions and the mini sphere only has 14 pistons, so it sounds like more model simulations, full scale prototype engineering, and fund raising from here on to the end of 2014. Once the funds are lined up the 3 meter metal sphere order will have to be placed, cash down, remaining cash on delivery acceptance (I presume 400 pistons are now planned... went from 200 to 300 and now we have heard 400. I wonder what the long lead items will be? (sphere? 400 pistons? construction? and plant location?).
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

crowberry
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Re: General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

Postby crowberry » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:25 am

General Fusion is also working on their plasma injectors and compression pistons, which already are of full scale. Their performance is by no means final, so a lot of work remains there. To minimize their risks they are calibrating their simulation codes against the Mini Sphere and of course this will take time.

They have not published much on the explosive tests, so at some point they probably will tell something about that. It would be nice to know if they plan to do a net gain demonstration through the explosive tests or not. The final proof will of course be a demo plant which will take more funding and a couple of years building time.

The amount of energy needed for compression is fixed, so increasing the number of pistons decreases the requirements on each piston, but still 400 pistons will be a complex system to manage reliably.

mvanwink5
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Re: General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:51 am

I took the 400 pistons as a prototype over-build hedge. From a reliability POV 400 pistons is likely a tradeoff as energy per strike is less, so material demand is less, hence reliability for the high stress component would be better. The fact that they have upped the number of pistons in their prototype design, to me, says that they are in the cash talking stage and piston numbers is to nail down budgetary figures. My tea leaf counter is telling me that the major parts of funding are being put in place for 2014 year's end, and indeed their new CEO Nathan Gilliland has said as much.

I look forward to seeing the solar cronies knees knock, and seeing what happens with the other fusion projects (especially ITER) when the dark horse dinner bell is rung by GF (or by the first to announce full-scale prototype funding).
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Solo
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Re: General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

Postby Solo » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:26 pm

I have it from a reliable source that the explosive tests are continuing, in parallel with some electromagnetic implosions. The implosions have not so far been able to maintain the plasma while compressing it, and it's hard to tell what's going wrong since diagnosis of the implosion is difficult. Several potential issues were identified and addressed, but the problem remains unsolved. On the bright side, the piston performance is up to snuff. Work on the plasma injector is on-going.

crowberry
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Re: General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

Postby crowberry » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:19 pm

Thanks Solo, that was interesting to hear. So it seems that the explosive experiments are not a fast and easy short cut to demonstrate fusion break even, not at least yet.

crowberry
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Re: General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

Postby crowberry » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:51 pm

The TEDxKC talk by Michele Laberge is now available on Youtube. It is 14 min 1 s long and pretty much the same talk as the previous TED talk. He mentions 200 cylinders and not 300 or 400 in the talk, so it is hard to know what they are thinking about that number. Here is the link to the presentation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-LCfx9v4YQ

mvanwink5
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Re: General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

Postby mvanwink5 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:10 pm

When talking to investors, budgetary figures would be expected to reflect the outside estimate, which sounds like 300 to 400 pistons, and it is expected that GF is in the process of putting together the finance package for end of this year full scale prototype initiation. Based on scuttlebutt then the final number of pistons is in play and further testing is being done to nail it down. Therefore it would make sense to stick with the original TED talk talking points... easy to explain no change, harder to keep changing the number of pistons publicly.

That is my rationalization.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

crowberry
Posts: 496
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am

Re: General Fusion talk at TEDxKC

Postby crowberry » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:13 pm

Well, that could very well be the reason.


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