Fusioneer claims Q of 1.084

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

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Ivy Matt
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Fusioneer claims Q of 1.084

Postby Ivy Matt » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:46 pm

Temperature, density, confinement time: pick any two.

D Tibbets
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Re: Fusioneer claims Q of 1.084

Postby D Tibbets » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:57 am

This is extremely misleading. While 84 milliWatts of D-D fusion is impressive if it is real- not noise from multiple culprits, it is still extreamly short of breakeven or Q=1. Q=1 implies as much fusion power out as total input energy. Amatuer fusors that have demonstrated some fusion by neutron counts generally consume several hundred to several thousands of Watts of electrical power delivered to the grids. This ignores vacuum pump power and other considerations.

"Since we get all the energy we put in back out as heat. that's a "Q" of 1.084, a bit shy of practical breakeven but well over scientific as defined currently. This tech has that property "for free" - anything extra you get is gain assuming you have a 100% efficient heat engine - but we don't."

This is an obvious statement. Energy isn't created or lost, it is merely converted. The potential energy of the reactants are converted to kinetic energy, which will eventually end up as heat. Even if you have demonstrated one neutron from fusion you have exceeded a Q of one using this argument. It is meaningless. You can argue about conversion of heat energy to electrical power and efficiencies of ~ 25 to 45% applies depending on various considerations. If you directly convert the KE of fast fusion products to electricity this efficiency may exceed 80%. This is all irrelevant to the Q question though, except for the caveat that if your Q is low, say 2-3, then anything that can boost the conversion to useful electrical power is proportionately more significant.

An example of the fallacy of using this perspective is provided by this made up but not unreasonable story:
Last week a Muon entered my body and happened to catalyze a single D-D fusion reaction. I am therefor a nuclear reactor that has exceeded a Q of one. All I need is a conversion to electricity or some other useful energy intermediate is as conversion efficiency of ~99.999999999999999999999999999999% . Of course I could then only power my electric motor with this excess energy for perhaps 0.000000000000000000001 seconds. A more reasonable and useful comparison is that by generating this single fusion reaction per week (assumed) I generated ~ 1 unit of energy equivalent to perhaps 0.00000000000000001 Watts (should be using Coulombs) of power for one second. But I consumed about 200 Watts of power continuously for that period, ~ 35,000 Watt Hours over a week. I don't think my fusion generated energy has any significance what so ever. If my waste heat is instead used to power a thermocouple, I might generate a few hundred Watt Hours of useful power. But that has nothing to do with fusion. It does have significance in certain situations though- such as in a well insulated space craft, how much air conditioning and space radiator surface area is needed to control the temperature...

My ~200 Watts of power consumption is not a complete waste though, otherwise I couldn't expound on this site. This introduces another consideration about the energy balance. Electricity need not be the only useful product. The heat itself may be used to heat streets in Denmark, or promote chemical reactions, etc.

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

D Tibbets
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Re: Fusioneer claims Q of 1.084

Postby D Tibbets » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:10 am

I should point out that Doug Coulter has done a lot of Fusor work and communicates his efforts on Fusor.net. If he has achieved the astounding production of ~ 84 milliWatts of fusion power for a few seconds he has achieved remarkable results as this is ~ 1000 to 10,000 times better than his contemperies have achieved. It would represent a Q of perhaps 1/1 million instead ~1/1 billion.

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

kunkmiester
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Re: Fusioneer claims Q of 1.084

Postby kunkmiester » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:46 am

Isn't Q only one problem for fusors? Even if you had a machine break even, you'd still have to deal with the magrid, and I'd imagine at power levels producing useful power, magrid life would be measured in seconds. Unless you fix that, no yield over break even will be useful.
Evil is evil, no matter how small

KitemanSA
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Re: Fusioneer claims Q of 1.084

Postby KitemanSA » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:09 am


swamijake
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Re: Fusioneer claims Q of 1.084

Postby swamijake » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:27 pm

Couple issues with this post.

As for claims, Doug did one run where he had really high neutron production, got a big dose and got sick, and for several months has been building shielding before he tries it again. He knows he has something, but isn't running around saying this is the answer to all our power problems. He knows he needs more data, and is carefully rebuilding his data collection system.

Second, his device is quite different than most fusors. His grid is more an electrostatic lens, and he runs a secondary grid which kind of turns it into a big oscillator. Very different beast to a Polywell, ETW or Hirsch machine.

He does need a lab assistant, has had several offers of funding that he has turned down for good reasons, and is chugging along building shielding, improving data collection and getting ready to run the machine at full snot without killing himself.

PB&J is not being looked at, and how it would perform in this system would be complete speculation.

If you are interested Doug periodically allows new members on his Forum, but it has some pretty strong rules and he isn't afraid of swinging the ban hammer.

kunkmiester
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Re: Fusioneer claims Q of 1.084

Postby kunkmiester » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:27 pm

Evil is evil, no matter how small

mattman
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Re: Fusioneer claims Q of 1.084

Postby mattman » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:51 pm

Hello,

1. When I spoke to Doug - he categorically thought the polywell would never work.


2. These 3 guys have done a lot of fusor work. I have been reading about them for awhile. Their design - of a long thin tube - is very innovative.


3. According to Carl Greninger and his students, most of the fusion in fusors IS when fusion hits the wall. Based on their observations - they model most fusor fusion as the D2 piling up on/in the metal surface... and then ions slamming in and fusing.

4. Carl is seeing Fusion in a Beam. Alex Klein wanted to focus the ions along a beam. He had a startup in Boston from 2009 to 2011 to do this. I wonder if Dougs' Design follows this...

Tom Ligon
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Re: Fusioneer claims Q of 1.084

Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:08 pm

The name Alex Klein caught my attention. If this is the fellow who used to work for EMC2, he corresponded with Dr. Bussard. Alex's thinking on electrodynamic fusion was very close to Dr. Bussard's, and Doc told me. "I think we either need to hire him or kill him." He was smiling at the time, and the result was that we hired him.

Clever fellow, although headstrong at times (a good trait if you know what you are doing). Like others associated with the project, he has had periods of doubt in which he thought it wouldn't work, so he's capable of a scientifically skeptical view even though he understands the merits of the approach.


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