Two more months on the contract

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rcain
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Post by rcain »

my guess is along the following lines of reasoning::

1) the WB7 programme was missioned principally with confirming the 'snap-shot' results of the WB6, before it blew up and coincidentally that contract concluded.
2) the WB7 is purportedly 'spinning like a top and producing data 'all day long' - which has got to be good all ways round.
3) I think we can safely guess that WB7 will meet its primary goal above, else we should have heard some 'nuanced' negativity from Nebel thus far, which we haven't.

From the US Navy's perspective, any decision to proceed further will need to recognize:

1) 'Sought, specific' future advances and improvements cited within the (next) proposed plan and how 'likely' these are to be realized - this is the clincher. I'm sure we would all hope for the announcement of a Dodec machine at Net power production scale (not a vast jump cost-wise, by all accounts).
2) Whether the 'anticipated' rate of advancement is faster than other competing technologies - thus far seems true.
3) Whether they (the Navy) are able extrapolate, foreseeing 'manifest usable technology/application' to boats and subs.
4) Given 3 above, whether the programme as a whole, and indeed the next project phase in particular, lies within their own available budgetary capacity - another clincher and links with point below.
5) To what extent they should allow 'openness' of findings and collaborative practice - perversely, the nearer they get to a successful outcome, the more 'closed' they are liable to become - for obvious reasons. This is also a clincher, although mitigated to some extent by the fact that so much information is already in the public domain and that Bussard took advantage of his last contractual hiatus in order to publicize his work to date.

I'm off down to the bookies before the odds get too short.

Jccarlton
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Post by Jccarlton »

If I were making the Gant chart the next steps and milestones would be the magnet design and test, followed by the HV power supply and the MAgrids. I would also like another WB7 scale machine to test the docehedron configuration but thats actually extra work at this point. Biggest immediate big ticket item will be the tunnel(basement) to put the machine in and I would scrounge around the DOE labs to see if I could find an empty one. It wouldn't surprise me at all that Los Alamos doesn't have some facility sitting unused from prior projects and it easier to rent than build new. The vacuum chamber is the next big ticket, but thats about 200 k or so. The big money is going to be developing all the various configurations and breaking them. It's almost guaranteed the first attempt won't work, the second won't work very well and the third will be the payoff.

Roger
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Post by Roger »

rj40 wrote:but didn’t Bussard say the next step after this *was* the net power device?
No. Bussard said he wanted to build 2 more small scale devices, page 24

http://www.emc2fusion.org/2006-9%20IAC%20Paper.pdf
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

rj40
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Post by rj40 »

Ahh! Thanks Roger.

dch24
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Post by dch24 »

Roger wrote:No offense to you dch24, but do you think Nebel would want to build a 1.6 meter Polywell if WB-7 was sucking balls.

He said he had data, then he said he wants to build the 1.6 meter Polywell.

I think those 2 things are connected, no ?
None taken, and I want him to build the WB-8 and keep this project alive ;)

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

I suppose they can keep doing small scale tests. Trying to build-up a justification for a net power device; but didn’t Bussard say the next step after this *was* the net power device?
Bussard talked about a WB-7 plus a WB-8. I'm not sure what else he was planning to prove with WB-8; I think he was hoping to fool around with repeller plates (as in WB-5) a bit more. He talks alot about improving emitters, too, and though he doesn't mention it he may have wanted to try the dodec shape.

Nebel has said (informally) we might as well move to 1.5M, so maybe he thinks he's gotten about everything he can from the small scale.

Aero
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Post by Aero »

Roger wrote:
Aero wrote:I understood that WB-6 used 30 cm coils, and that WB-7 was to duplicate WB-6 to verify results. But I see 35 cm coils bandied about for WB-7. ........
WB-6 had about 30-35cm coils, I believe WB-7 is the same exact size.
Aero wrote: Now, can someone tell me when the 1.6m machine dimension arose? It is attributed to Dr. Nebel.
Attribute that to me, not Dr Nebel. Dr Nebel refered to a comment by TallDave, that used the 1.5 meter quote of Bussard.

Bussard said DD break even was 1.5 meters, so whats a DD 100MW net power unit ? I'll guess 1.6 meters. Something like 3-4 inches larger ?
Roger - Did Dr. Nebel suggest a 1.6 meter machine, or is that your idea? It is not nice to attribute things to people if those people did not in fact say (write, do, ...) those things. If Dr. Nebel suggested a 1.6 m machine, then he had a reason based on experimental results that we are not privy to. If it is your idea, then its just smoke.
Aero

93143
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Post by 93143 »

Dr. Nebel said in the cosmiclog interview that he wants to go for 100 MW. TallDave posted 1.5 m diameter, Prometheus posted 1.3 m diameter, and then rnebel made a comment referencing TallDave's post and said they might as well build it "in that size range" and see if it works.

I'm pretty sure they mean radius, not diameter. Art Carlson mentioned machines of "radius 1.5 to 2 m", which agrees better with what I recall Dr. Bussard saying about 2.5 m diameter for D-D and 3 m for p-11B.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

The big money for the next step is the power supplies for continuous operation.

The second biggest cost will be magnets and cooling.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Mike Holmes
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Post by Mike Holmes »

If the "next step" is net power (or even break-even), and the cost of running such a thing would be mostly the power costs, wouldn't it behoove them to make the machine actually produce it's own power?

This is your area, Simon... would it be too much "engineering detail" to fit the thing with the ability to collect the energy it produces? Wouldn't such engineering pay for itself?

Or am I, as usual, misunderstanding something?

Mike

blaisepascal
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Post by blaisepascal »

Mike Holmes wrote:If the "next step" is net power (or even break-even), and the cost of running such a thing would be mostly the power costs, wouldn't it behoove them to make the machine actually produce it's own power?

Or am I, as usual, misunderstanding something?

Mike
There is a difference between "power" and "power supplies". It takes a pretty special power supply to provide the currents necessary to maintain the MAgrid for continuous operation, as well as the other needs of a net-power machine.

If I were in charge of it, I wouldn't make the first experimental net-power machine worry about efficient power recovery. As is being discussed on another thread, the direct conversion feature is a bunch of engineering in its own right. Rather than tackle two big tasks (net power and direct conversion), I'd concentrate on one, forgo direct conversion, and focus on measuring net power.

Actually, there are (at least) three engineering challenges to be met, assuming this can be made to work at all. Continuous operation (which I'll defined as 30-second runs in a steady-state mode with a experimenter-triggered clean shutdown), net power, and direct power conversion. That sounds like three machines to me.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Mike Holmes wrote:If the "next step" is net power (or even break-even), and the cost of running such a thing would be mostly the power costs, wouldn't it behoove them to make the machine actually produce it's own power?

This is your area, Simon... would it be too much "engineering detail" to fit the thing with the ability to collect the energy it produces? Wouldn't such engineering pay for itself?

Or am I, as usual, misunderstanding something?

Mike
It is probably a size thing. A test reactor with room for modifications is going to be 10 ft across. Add in power production and you are at 30 ft across (hopefully 1/2 that in production).

It adds in a subsystem whose design (except for the grid structure) is trivial (compared with the rest of the problems).

So waiting until you had net power proof might save time in the schedule (the power grid stuff interfering with the core machine) rather than cost it.

If you are in a real hurry (and have the $$$$) you build a total loss test machine and a power producer in tandem. The results of the total loss machine being used to inform the design (redesign) of the power producer.

BTW power cost is the least of your worries in one of these situations. The burn rate is controlled by the number and quality of the bodies. You really want the best help you can find. Even if it looks like it will cost more. It hardly ever does. Usually what happens is they help you find a way out of jams. And there are always jams.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

93143 wrote:Dr. Nebel said in the cosmiclog interview that he wants to go for 100 MW. TallDave posted 1.5 m diameter, Prometheus posted 1.3 m diameter, and then rnebel made a comment referencing TallDave's post and said they might as well build it "in that size range" and see if it works.

I'm pretty sure they mean radius, not diameter.
Oops, did I say diameter? Should have ben radius, of course.

Jeff Peachman
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Post by Jeff Peachman »

kurt9 wrote:I think that the group is prudent not to release any details until after the review process is complete, in order to avoid a "cold fusion" fiasco.
After the document is released for peer review, how long will it be until the paper is available to the general public? I'm looking forward to reading it.

-Jeff
- Jeff Peachman

Aero
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Post by Aero »

Jeff Peachman wrote: After the document is released for peer review, how long will it be until the paper is available to the general public? I'm looking forward to reading it.
Well, that's the problem. If it is good news the navy may renew the contract and embargo information release so we will never see it. On the other hand, if its bad news, we should see it soon after the navy contract lapses.
The only way we can guarantee access to the information is to pony up a million dollars to buy a WB-7 and run the experiments ourselves.
Aero

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