Z-Pinch Renaissance

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

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

Skipjack
Posts: 5954
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Skipjack » Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:24 am

Seems like the Z- Pinch is seeing a bit of a renaissance these days with multiple experiments going on. The UW in cooperation with Lawrence Livermore recently got 5.3 million in funding from the DOE to scale up their Shared Flow Stabilized Z-Pinch which has achieved some promising results in recent experiments with (from what I understand) temperatures above 1200 eV. What excited me about this, is that this could be an extremely compact device.
They are also well enough funded for their coming proof of concept experiments (I think they were supposed to happen in 2017, with first plasma already this year).

http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/06/ ... doe-grant/
http://www.iccworkshops.org/epr2016/upl ... e_talk.pdf
https://www.orau.gov/ssap2016/presentat ... M/ross.pdf

Skipjack
Posts: 5954
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Skipjack » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:15 pm

Two presentations regarding Z-Pinches at the ARPA-E Alpha meeting.
Harry McLean presented for the UW and LLNL FUZE team around Uri Schumlak.They still have a way to go but I hear that their results have been quite encouraging.
http://arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default/ ... d_2016.pdf

There was also a presentation from Magneto Inertial Fusion Technologies, Inc, who are investigating Staged Z- pinch Targets for Fusion. I have a bit of trouble understanding what exactly they are trying to do compared to previous experiments.
http://arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default/ ... educed.pdf

In any case, there is some renewed interest in Z-Pinches. We will see where that goes.

Giorgio
Posts: 2658
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:15 pm
Location: China, Italy

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Giorgio » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:58 pm

Magneto is trying to do the equivalent of a multiple step press forming process for a metal part.
They take a plasma stream, squeeze it with a first pinch to "shape it" in a more stable configuration and pinch it again to induce fusion.

It makes sense from a logic point of view, but I am not a big fan of this idea.
Look, stars!

Skipjack
Posts: 5954
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Skipjack » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:43 am

More indication that Shear Flow Stabilization of Z- Pinches works.
If Shumlaks Z- pinch design works as hoped, it would make for an incredibly compact fusion reactor.

http://aip.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1063/1.4977468

NotAPhysicist
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:51 am

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby NotAPhysicist » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:51 am

This is one I've not been following.
The paper is, quite reasonably, technically dense but it certainly sounds cautiously optimistic.

How many irons in the fire do we have at this point?

Skipjack
Posts: 5954
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Skipjack » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:25 am

Uri Shumlak will be presenting their latest results with their FuZE at the 59th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics.
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DPP17/Session/TO7.2
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DPP17/Session/TO7.1
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DPP17/Session/UP11.111
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DPP17/Session/UP11.112
Looks like they are quite pleased with the initial results of their new device...

Skipjack
Posts: 5954
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Skipjack » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:05 pm

ARPA- E Alpha 2017 Meeting presentation by Uri Shumlak:
https://arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default ... HUMLAK.pdf

Skipjack
Posts: 5954
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Skipjack » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:55 pm

The ARPA- E presentation at the FPA Meeting gives a new important detail about the ongoing FuZE experiments:
http://firefusionpower.org/McGrath%20FPA%202017.pdf
The have achieved very stable plasma at 200 kA and successfully produced D+D neutrons. Granted a lot of fusion experiments do, but it is still too important a milestone to not mention it. Stable plasma at 200 kA (a 4 times improvement over the previous experiment) pretty much validates the scaling laws for their concept, though they still plan to demonstrate 300 kA by August (when ARPA- E funding runs out). Once they have achieved that, they "only" have to slightly more than double the current to 650 kA to achieve break even. A powerplant would "only" have to double the current again in order to be economic. So another 4 times increase (essentially what they have done so far with this experiment).
To fund this, they have founded a spin- off, ZAP Energy, to seek funding for the next stage of their Sheared Flow Z- Pinch development from private investors.
https://www.zapenergyinc.com/contact/
What excites me about this, is that this is a comparably small and inexpensive device and they have demonstrated very rapid and impressive progress within a very short time. Not sure if I am the only one who has a good feeling about this one. I for one hope they find funding for their break even experiment. They could be top contender.

wizz33
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:43 pm

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby wizz33 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:57 am


Skipjack
Posts: 5954
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Skipjack » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:14 pm

wizz33 wrote:http://www.researchgate.net/publication/318215383_Conceptual_Cost_Study_for_a_Fusion_Power_Plant_Based_on_Four_Technologies_from_the_DOE_ARPA-E_ALPHA_Program

from that pdf

I have mixed feelings about this study, since it makes a lot of assumptions based on relatively little data. I am way more optimistic when it comes to that. E.g. I think that the shape of the reactor chamber needs to be taken into account when talking about Tritium subsystems. A tokamak is a bad comparison, because toks have a very unfavorable shape for breeding blankets. You loose a lot of neutrons and you have very complex system that will cost dramatically more than a simple cylindrical tank around the reactor core (as would be needed for a SF- Z- Pinch reactor).
Also worth noting that if scaling laws continue to persist in higher kA regimes, then a plant based on the Sheared Flow Z- Pinch could theoretically use advanced fuels, at least D+He3, which allows for direct conversion and He3 breeding and produces less neutron radiation. That would lower costs dramatically. The fact that it is pulsed really helps with all of this.

Skipjack
Posts: 5954
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Skipjack » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:02 am

Hmm, Shumlak's Zap Energy Inc now has an ominous countdown to September 1st 2018 on their website:
https://www.zapenergyinc.com/
It could be a coincidence, but ARPA-E funding will run out by the end of August. So that could be the day they decided to present their latest results to the world in order to get funding from private investors. They are also going to move to new premises (off the UW campus) after ARPA- E funding runs out.
Certainly interesting, though unless they have some _really_ exciting results to present then, the countdown seems a bit over the top.
Looking at the scope of the FuZE experiment, I am not sure how much they will have to show, beyond the (hopefully positive) results of their current work. I don't think that their break even experiment would be that expensive to finance, but even small money is hard to come by when it comes to fusion.

Munchausen
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:36 pm
Location: Nikaloukta

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Munchausen » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:52 pm

Skipjack wrote:Hmm, Shumlak's Zap Energy Inc now has an ominous countdown to September 1st 2018 on their website:
https://www.zapenergyinc.com/
It could be a coincidence, but ARPA-E funding will run out by the end of August. So that could be the day they decided to present their latest results to the world in order to get funding from private investors. They are also going to move to new premises (off the UW campus) after ARPA- E funding runs out.
Certainly interesting, though unless they have some _really_ exciting results to present then, the countdown seems a bit over the top.
Looking at the scope of the FuZE experiment, I am not sure how much they will have to show, beyond the (hopefully positive) results of their current work. I don't think that their break even experiment would be that expensive to finance, but even small money is hard to come by when it comes to fusion.


https://arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default ... HUMLAK.pdf

According to page 11: Roughly 8 orders of magnitude higher output for 1 order of magnitude higher drive current.

Why expect the cigar will be lit up this time?

Skipjack
Posts: 5954
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Skipjack » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:14 am

Munchausen wrote:
Skipjack wrote:Hmm, Shumlak's Zap Energy Inc now has an ominous countdown to September 1st 2018 on their website:
https://arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default ... HUMLAK.pdf
According to page 11: Roughly 8 orders of magnitude higher output for 1 order of magnitude higher drive current.
Why expect the cigar will be lit up this time?

Yeah, I posted that earlier. I believe that the scaling laws are similar to the way magnetic confinement scales with the increase of the magnetic field (magnetic field to the 4th power). But I may be wrong here. Anyway, so far they have increased the plasma current by a factor of 4 and scaling laws still seem to hold as predicted. I think that if they can manage to show stable plasma all the way to the factor of 6 that they are aiming for with FuZE, they have a pretty good chance to demonstrate break even with the follow up device. Given how small and simple these things are, they might beat every one else to that benchmark.

Munchausen
Posts: 127
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:36 pm
Location: Nikaloukta

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Munchausen » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:44 pm

https://www.zapenergyinc.com
Why that countdown?

Skipjack
Posts: 5954
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

Postby Skipjack » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:33 am

Munchausen wrote:https://www.zapenergyinc.com
Why that countdown?

See my post earlier.


Return to “News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests