A Sequel to The Google Talk

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

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ladajo
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby ladajo » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:09 pm

GIT,
I think you are grasping at straws here a little. Consider that Park is looking to fund not just the next step, but the next two steps.
As an investor, you probably wouldn't want to be in a position where you fund the proof of concept, but don't have the nut to fund the demo once the proof of concept has worked. That would truly suck.
If I had to put money on it right now, I think Park will get his funds (knock on wooden head).
Also, as I have said before, and the release of this material furthers my point, I think he is further along on the viability scale than the other contenders.
I am happy that more info is in the wild. It really sucks sometimes having to sit on my hands, as Tom well knows. Be patient, there is more to follow.

You all should note that the estimated Beta for the 16540 shot was 0.7, and viability calcs are done at Beta =1.0.
And to settle the debate on size, Jaeyoung always talks in Radius, as all the calcs are done in Radius.

The other nuance you guys are missing is the shift in focus to D-T.
This is a strategy move. It improves funding opportunity as D-T has a much better chance of flying than PB&J.
The idea is do D-T first, then take what is learned and do PB&J.
Just getting D-T as a viable plant is huge <understatement of the year>. PB&J can wait. Bird in the hand and all...
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)

GIThruster
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby GIThruster » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:20 pm

I don't think that's what he said. I'm pretty sure what he's saying is basically, 'we learned what we needed to back in 2013 and now to go the next step we need this new machine, but even though it is almost 1GW overunity, it is not engineered for constant operation'. That's TRL3. He'll need much larger investment for a prototype.

Just saying, I find it extremely unlikely anyone will pony up $300M for a proof of science demonstrator, especially when he does not already have all the answers necessary to a commercial devise. And this is why you can't have egghead scientists pretending to do the business stuff. They seldom cater to realistic expectations. No matter how much equity in EMC2 he's willing to let go--way, way past a controlling share would be necessary for this kind of investment as opposed to grants--there is no way he's going to see this kind of money without a fantastical turn of events. This is not a rational expectation. His thinking has been clouded by the common specter that an emergent technology presents such a powerful possibility, that people will fund it. This is not true. Who would fund Polywell for the tune of $300M when this is for more pure science, doesn't get you a prototype, and could easily be supplanted by another approach? $300M is way too much money to take this kind of risk on. I think most people don't get what investment is all about. Investors and entrepreneurs are not about taking high risks. They're about taking risks and minimizing them to the extent they are manageable, and there is nothing that makes this risk manageable. Only someone who can afford to take a $300M loss, like USG; can make this kind of investment.

Just saying, I don't think he'll see this kind of money. $30M would be a huge challenge but I think he's basically said he's dead in the water now.
Last edited by GIThruster on Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

choff
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby choff » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:24 pm

EMC2 could be a lot farther along with WB8 than what they're saying with USN nondisclosure and that's why they only talk about the small WB-D device, since it might be produced independent of the Navy contract.
CHoff

ladajo
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby ladajo » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:00 pm

The $300 million is for the next two steps.
He will not jump to demo.

I think he will get funding (knock on wooden head). There are options, some of which will not compromise control.
I can't/won't speak any further on that.

People do put up that sort of money for stuff like this. They live and function in an arena you are not apparently familiar with.

As for WB-8 work, the last two releases provide deeper understanding on where things went with that than previous information.
Maybe you all missed it, but no neutrons were made in WB-8. Getting rid of the nubs completely changed the machine dynamics. Thus MiniB to sort out what was going on as well as test and prove out Grad's conjecture (Cusp necking).

Next step, D-T proof of concept.
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)

crowberry
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby crowberry » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:20 pm

I think Dr Park made his points and plans very clear. There is remaining work with the Beta=1 condition to study:
[img> http://msrvideo.vo.msecnd.net/rmcvideos ... 000050.jpg[/img]

The last step to prove the feasibility of the Polywell concept is this:
[img> http://msrvideo.vo.msecnd.net/rmcvideos ... 000060.jpg[/img]

Building a net power producing Polywell would only be done after the previous work has been completed. The slide with the 1,1 GW Polywell has a better design which is confidential according the question afterwards. Dr Park also says that the price for a $300 M Polywell is dominated by the turbine, not by the reactor itself. Assuming a 30 % efficiency one would get (1100-185)*0.3 MW = 274.5 MW net power, so the investment cost per W would be 300 M$/275 MW = 1.1 $/W. General Fusion plans to build their prototype 100 MWe reactor for $150 M, so their investment cost is $ 150 M/100 MW = 1.5 $/W.
So the Polywell estimate is of the same order of magnitude. What the true costs will be when the first devices are actually built will be very interesting to see.

I think that the Polywell looks promising, provided that the potential well can be demonstrated simultaneously with the Beta=1 condition.

Demonstrating a high Beta condition experimentally is a real breakthrough which has not gotten as much publicity as other lesser steps forward by other experiments.

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GIThruster
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby GIThruster » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:28 pm

ladajo wrote:People do put up that sort of money for stuff like this. They live and function in an arena you are not apparently familiar with.

Look I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but these folks are in serious trouble. This $300M figure is just a WAG or "wild-assed guess" and is in no way helpful as it scares away many who would otherwise be interested. Whether the good doctor is talking about a first phase or a pair of phases, he should never have tossed out these kinds of numbers.

I don't hold a Masters of Project Management, but I have studied project management the last 2 years, and I know what to look for. This is a guess. No one seeking funds should be dispensing guesses. If you want real funding, you invest yourself in developing a real estimate. I know this is not a real estimate because no real estimate could ever be presented without a timeline.

All project management involves what is known as the "Golden Triangle" which is the delicate balance between goals, resources and time. There is no way to generate a real estimate without generating at the same time, a timeline, and these should never be divorced from one another in any kind of presentation. Anyone who knows anything about project management knows this much.

Now what would be reasonable? Get an MPM in and pay him or her for 6 months to get a real proposal. If I had to guess from what he's said so far, I would say, $15M to buy all the hardware and staff the lab for 5 years. 2 years to build what he needs and another 3 to test it. You have to generate real Gantt charts and know what components cost, what the staff will cost, what cannot be purchased COTS and has to be designed and fabricated in house (which adds huge risk). Then whatever number you come up with, you can double it before you go to investors because in fact, they want to know you have accounted for unknowns and unknown unknowns. Knowing next to nothing, I would think $30M a reasonable figure for the next phase and you don't raise money for a second phase until you have success for the first, so even this, if this conflation has happened, it is a bad sign.

Don't shoot the messenger. I know people who can do a real appraisal of what resources are needed here, but they'd need to be paid probably for 6 months before they could generate real figures. Tossing a $300M WAG about is just completely the wrong thing to do.
Last edited by GIThruster on Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tom Ligon
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby Tom Ligon » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:30 pm

Dr. Park has confirmed to me that he really did mean 98 atmospheres of magnetic pressure, which is based on what you would get with those 5T magnets.

Do remember, Polywell solenoids are assembled in a mutually-repulsive configuration. Try pushing a couple of modest ferrite donut magnets together and see what it takes. Even little 1kG magnets will make a monkey out of you. Multiply by 50, and expand to 4 meter diameter to get the big machine. And the plasma has to go diamagnetic and push that field back to a spiky sphere.

He also reminds us that the plasma is acting on the magnetic fields, not the walls of the chamber.

Tom Ligon
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby Tom Ligon » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:34 pm

A little bird landed on my shoulder and chirped in my ear.

In a pleasant voice, he said that Boeing Dreamliners sell for about $200 million each, but the development cost exceeded $32 billion.

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2016310102_boeing25.html

Think big if you want to do something big!

GIThruster
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby GIThruster » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:49 pm

Your little bird is confusing you with details of events that bear no relation to raising investment funds.

Let me recommend the entire series from Stanford university here:

http://startupclass.samaltman.com/

and if you like, you can skip those parts that are not funding related. Session 9 is good. It gives people an idea of what is needed to raise funds. For example, it is vital, to have someone at the helm who is a real leader. Most scientists are not leaders. They should therefore not be leading the work when it comes to business and raising funding, as they will generate a lack of confidence in the team. It does not matter how good your product is, if it isn't being developed by a quality team. Also session 19, time index 20M to 33M is excellent. If you've ever studied what it takes to pitch investors, you know this guy has it right, and if you take a different approach, you are almost guaranteed to fail. In the pitch, less is more, and the actual pitch is no time to explain technical details, history or anything of that nature.

So just saying, this number above is going to kill EMC2 if they don't get their act together.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

ladajo
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby ladajo » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:28 pm

GIT,
You are thinking in general terms. This project is a "peculiar". The rule set is different for "peculiar".
Rest assured, Park is in the right ballpark. A lot of thought has gone into the project estimates. Also, IMO, he is in the right circles with the right mindset seeking this funding. He is also not a lone-actor. There are others working this with him. One of those, as I recall, has an MBA from Stanford. Another has decades of experience in project management. You paint him as a lone-wolf scruffy haired scientist lost in the wild of corporate america. This is not what or where he exists.
I think he will succeed. JMHO. I resist to say more and break his confidence.
At a minimum, I have found him a very grounded, pragmatic, and reflective man who retains a sense of wonder about the world. I value this in him.

Crowberry, the 30% ion heating is specifically in reference to guns. 30% efficiency will be enough to run breakeven. IIRC it was up around 50 to 60% for PB&J.
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)

MSimon
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby MSimon » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:42 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:GIThruster,
Usually there is a staged investment with milestones, the 2 meter radius machine is a second stage investment as I heard it and occurs after the intermediate machine where scaling is proven and quantified for engineering the large 2 meter radius $300 million machine.

I think also that the $300 million machine is a working power plant - from my understanding of the talk. That would include generators. He did say that BOP was about 80% of the cost. That would bring in the reactor at about $60 million. Which seems reasonable.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
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THE OPEN POLYWELL FUSION CONSORTIUM

Tom Ligon
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby Tom Ligon » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:04 pm

Simon, he answered questions about turbines etc to get power out of a working power plant, but the $300M 5T 2M radius machine was still just a net power demonstrator with no electric power generation. It did have a very nice power in/power out margin. If a DT machine, probably 80% of the output is fast neutrons so we're stuck with old fashioned heat. I'd also bet that a lithium blanket is involved, and it would breed tritium.

At that point the comparison would be about like ITER versus a working fusion powerplant based on it, except that a Polywell should be considerably more compact and so require less tons of plumbing to get at that heat, and by the same token likely somewhat more efficient as well.

Again this is about 57-58 minutes, at which point Dr. Park said he didn't want to design a full power plant right now ... he needs to make sure the net power demonstrator looks attractive. If the net power demonstrator is unrealistic, all talk of adding power conversion equipment is pointless.

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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby MSimon » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:13 pm

You will also note in the video that he mentions he has bean counters to answer to. That means he has at least some beans lined up. You will recall that Doc B had offers he didn't take because he wanted to keep control.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
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THE OPEN POLYWELL FUSION CONSORTIUM

MSimon
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby MSimon » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:24 pm

Tom Ligon wrote:Simon, he answered questions about turbines etc to get power out of a working power plant, but the $300M 5T 2M radius machine was still just a net power demonstrator with no electric power generation. It did have a very nice power in/power out margin. If a DT machine, probably 80% of the output is fast neutrons so we're stuck with old fashioned heat. I'd also bet that a lithium blanket is involved, and it would breed tritium.

At that point the comparison would be about like ITER versus a working fusion powerplant based on it, except that a Polywell should be considerably more compact and so require less tons of plumbing to get at that heat, and by the same token likely somewhat more efficient as well.

Again this is about 57-58 minutes, at which point Dr. Park said he didn't want to design a full power plant right now ... he needs to make sure the net power demonstrator looks attractive. If the net power demonstrator is unrealistic, all talk of adding power conversion equipment is pointless.

He did talk about lithium in sea water.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium

Li will need purification (about 7% is Li6) for a blanket. The neutron/breeding margin is not real good and you have to keep losses under 10%. And then there is SC lifetime with a big neutron flux. The graphics of changing out the core may have been a hint.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
http://protonboron.com/
THE OPEN POLYWELL FUSION CONSORTIUM

GIThruster
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Re: A Sequel to The Google Talk

Postby GIThruster » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:27 pm

ladajo wrote:You are thinking in general terms. This project is a "peculiar". The rule set is different for "peculiar".
Rest assured, Park is in the right ballpark. A lot of thought has gone into the project estimates. Also, IMO, he is in the right circles with the right mindset seeking this funding. He is also not a lone-actor. There are others working this with him. One of those, as I recall, has an MBA from Stanford. Another has decades of experience in project management.

Well, it is then twice as difficult to understand why he has conflated two projects into one as some here are claiming, as this makes all the numbers he did share useless. BTW, I'm pretty sure these claims are incorrect. He more than implied that the next step takes $300M and the follow on constant operation prototype requires >$1B funding. I think ya'll are kidding yourselves. No one is going to put up $1B until they can see a TRL7 demo.

Also it makes it very difficult to understand given this magnificent team you report, how anyone could present any figure apart from a timeline, as anyone who knows anything about project management would shudder at this.

Sorry but your assurances aren't cutting it. The numbers used here were and are ill advised. While I understand this is more than a pitch session, it deeply wars against the reputation of EMC2, to engage in WAGs and numbers that are alienating to investors. This was a terrible mistake. You just don't know enough to understand why and how it is a mistake. They may recover from this, but they did great harm with what are obvious blunders.

Now you answer me a question, since you seem to know so much. Why did the reverse not happen? If they're going to talk money at all, why would they not talk timeline? Why were they not specific about what money needs to go to which project? Why did they supposedly as some claim here, conflate the two projects? Why did he not offer portions of a simplified Gantt chart to clearly demonstrate this is something other than a WAG? Why did he not note "well we can get our e-guns here. . ." or "we know we need to build something new for the e-guns. . "? Why were there without exception, NO details?

That is not where someone needs to be who is even remotely looking for money.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis


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