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Renaissance Fusion

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:52 am
by Ivy Matt
The Fusion Industry Association has added another startup to its list of members: Renaissance Fusion. The company claims to be the first fusion startup based in continental Europe, as well as the first with a stellarator-based design. They're based in Granada, Spain, according to their Twitter account. Apparently they will presenting at EPS 2019 in Milan next week. That's about all I know for now. Here are the relevant links:



Re: Renaissance Fusion

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:13 am
by Skipjack
Stellarators are still at a relatively early stage. They are complex, expensive and big. I wonder what compelled them to choose this particular design.

Re: Renaissance Fusion

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:04 pm
by williatw
Skipjack wrote:Stellarators are still at a relatively early stage. They are complex, expensive and big. I wonder what compelled them to choose this particular design.

"Stellarators" have been around for decades Skipjack:

The stellarator was invented by Lyman Spitzer of Princeton University in 1951, and much of its early development was carried out by his team at what became the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

Re: Renaissance Fusion

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:00 pm
by Skipjack
I know they have been around for a while, but Wendelstein 7, the most advanced Stellerator is nowhere near JET levels.

Re: Renaissance Fusion

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:21 pm
by Ivy Matt
Perhaps I should have noted that their website talks about their "energy solution for 2027". Specific year, but no explanation of what the milestone is.

Now that the conference is over, Renaissance Fusion has revealed the names of exactly one member of the team: Francesco Volpe, "Founder". He has a BSc in Physics from the University of Pisa and a PhD in Experimental Physics from the Unversity of Greifswald. He has worked at Culham, Max Planck, and General Atomics, and taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Columbia University.

In addition, the names of ten external advisers are listed. The most prominent name to me is Stewart Prager.



This paper would appear to be an explanation of Dr. Volpe's approach:

Initial Exploration of High-Field Pulsed Stellarator Approach to Ignition Experiments

Re: Renaissance Fusion

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:41 pm
by Giorgio
I love stellarators as a research tool. I have been following the Wendelstein development since 2004, I have read most that has been presented and/or published during the last 14 years of development, and I can tell you all that it has been an engineering nightmare in almost every single aspect of construction. Let alone for the shape, the real trouble was managing the mechanical and thermal stress on the coils while keeping a clean magnetic profile. That part has been the nightmare of god knows how many engineers involved in that project, and they still have to prove that they was able to tackle the issue in a satisfactory way.
And Wendelstein is a 3T machine, while these guys are aiming for a 10T machine..... I don't think I can even imagine how much amplificated the same issues that Wendelstein team faced could be in a 10T machine.

As I said, I really believe that stellarators are a good research tool to better understand plasma evolution and dynamics, but for a net energy producing machine I strongly believe that a 10T machine is totally unpractical, unless they come out with some very, very, very, smart and innovative idea on the coil side, but i didn't find mention of this in any place.

Just my 2 cents for what is worth.

Re: Renaissance Fusion

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:43 pm
by Munchausen
Read the paper. Magnets with copper winding in cast pot metal frames. Tank wall blanketing from sprayed lithium. Design life 10 years/1000 shots.

Left me with a lasting sense of hopelessness.

Re: Renaissance Fusion

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:41 pm
by Giorgio
To add even more pain, it seems now that Wendelstein team will not be able to use Deuterium into the 7-x machine until at least 2023, due to "the time needed to full fill all German regulations for the use of Deuterium". No kidding, 4 more years.......

We finally start to have the materials, the processing power and the technical expertise to make fusion real, and a meaningful advancements of knowledge is prevented by a bunch of clueless bureaucrats who need to regulate the use of an Hydrogen isotope... This is really crazy.

I need to look for a strong wall where to bang my head against....

Video from Eric Lerner from the Plasma 2019 conference where he states the Wendelstein/Deuterium issue HERE.