Z-Pinch Renaissance

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

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Skipjack
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Re: Z-Pinch Renaissance

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


Skipjack
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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.


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