A Green Sun by Charles Gray

Discuss ways to make polywell research more widely known or better understood. Includes education and outreach.

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A Green Sun by Charles Gray

Postby classicpenny » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:48 am

A Green Sun by Charles Gray is a fiction story about the Polywell. It is available for the Kindle and the Kindle smartphone ap for a very reasonable price on Amazon. My apologies if this has been mentioned elsewhere in Talk Polywell.

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Gray Actually Wrote the Novel I Tried to Write!

Postby classicpenny » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:26 pm

I just finished reading A Green Sun by Charles Gray, and I recommend it highly. It is available for $1.99 in Kindle format at http://www.amazon.com/Green-Sun-Fusion-Age-ebook/dp/B005GBPEAE/
I did my best to write the Polywell novel that Charles Gray has actually written. I wrote a Prologue, 6 Chapters, and an outline; sent them out for review, and got back a resounding "Forget it!" My story was better (of course), and my Prologue was WAY better; but Gray's writing is MUCH better - especially his dialogues - and best of all, he actually finished HIS story! I am not sure why Mr Gray's novel avoids use of the word "Polywell," or why the novel does not credit Robert Bussard (however Gray does both in a note at the end of the novel). Most of Gray's technical detail is right on the money - though he is somewhat hazy on the direct conversion of the Alpha particle kinetic energy to HVDC. Also, I seriously doubt that that a commercial Polywell power plant significantly larger than 100 megawatts is within our nation's present capability - plus the wear and tear on the Polywell's parts from high energy alpha particle impacts will be significant. But these are trivial problems and do not detract from the story. Oh, one more thing - don't judge this book by its Prologue! I very much enjoyed the book.

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Postby hanelyp » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:32 am

100MW is small fry compared to may existing power stations in the US. Much larger wouldn't take more advanced technology, but might have to be run at a lower power density to keep first wall heat loads manageable.

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Postby cgray45 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:37 pm

Hi all! thanks for reading my book!

The main reason I didn't mention Dr. Bussard (I did give him credit for working on the process) in teh book is I didn't know the gentleman, and their are still people who do know him-- and sometimes what you think might be an homage in your eyes can look like a mockery and insult to those who did know the man. this actually happened to a writer I knew.

I'm working on some other stories set in this period, exploring what happens when you start getting energy.

My big, BIG hope is that I'll have an "Aw shucks" look on m y face at some point, as people ask me why I'm writing "Fiction" about something that currently exists. :)
Check out my blog-- not just about fusion, but anything that attracts this 40 something historians interest.

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Re: Gray Actually Wrote the Novel I Tried to Write!

Postby classicpenny » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:37 pm

classicpenny wrote:
I did my best to write the Polywell novel that Charles Gray has actually written.

And finally, MY Polywell novel is out and available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GF59ADC The name of the book is To Fly from Folly: Saving the Polywell. The book has been improved, expanded, and upgraded as of Nov 20, 2013.

Here is the (updated) description:
Jane Wright is clone who suddenly acquires the passions and memories of her donor parent when she is 14 years old. Coming to terms with this change leads Jane into a long series of traumatic and sometimes life-threatening events that finally ends in her freshman year of college when she rejects her donor parent. On a single day in October of 1993, after she has graduated from college, Jane Wright and Nadia Samoilova begin their life-long relationship, Jane begins her twenty year career of developing the Polywell fusion reactor, and Nadia begins her career as a high school physics teacher. By the fall of 2013, Jane is the director of a top secret Navy fusion project that has successfully constructed a safe cheap working Polywell fusion reactor capable of powering a large ship or a community of 30,000. This Polywell leaves no carbon footprint, releases no radiation, uses processed borax and water for fuel, and releases only helium and electricity as products. But coal producers, other energy companies, the Department of Energy, and ignorant but powerful environmental groups feel threatened by this new development. They successfully lobby congress to force the Navy to shut down the Polywell and hide all details of its construction. Covertly, these same groups attack Jane through Nadia who experiences both a deadly physical attack and a talk-radio attack on her personal reputation. Nadia and Jane are determined to fight back. With the help of two of Nadia’s high school students, and Sergei, the Russian flight engineer on a giant Antonov-124 cargo plane, they attempt to rescue the Polywell from certain bureaucratic death. During the Polywell rescue attempt they are financially sabotaged by the Bank of America and detained by the Russian FSB; their aircraft is attacked by a US F-16 interceptor, and later experiences total electrical failure.
Last edited by classicpenny on Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.

D Tibbets
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Re: A Green Sun by Charles Gray

Postby D Tibbets » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:42 am

Bussard did apparently come up with the idea of the "Bussard Ram Scoop."used in SF. He wasn't aware of this till years later.

As for high energy alpha particles damaging the reactor- that is part of the benefit of direct conversion. Not only do you harvest the KE directly, you do so before they hit anything (they do not hit the magrid much) so spalling, heat damage, etc. is actually less than a D-D reactor . There are no significant neutrons to hit things. And the tritium and Helium 3 fusion products are also absent. These high energy fusion products would transfer their KE by impacting the walls to generate heat, etc. Direct conversion could also be utilized for these multiple products, but it would be more complex and still not change the neutron problem. Of course D-T fusion would be much easier in the Polywell but the fierce neutrons are even more of a problem (not to mention the tritium production problem).

The X- rays in a alpha particle producing P-B11 Polywell may be a relatively larger problem in the Polywell than high KE particle impacts. Because of this, the thermal wall loading in a P-B11 Polywell reactor may be less challenging than a D-D reactor. The P-B11 reactor may require ~ 3-4 times the surface area of an equivalent D-D reactor, and as a smaller percentage of the output would be thermal, the thermal wall loading engineering issues may be significantly less. Because of this, the P-B11 reactor may actually end up being the most compact option.

As for capacity, there is nothing limiting the growth (within reason). It is just that a break even + reactor would need to be ~ 100 MW output before fusion gains significantly overtake input costs (this is conservative D-D reactor estimates- an advanced P-B reactor may be a different story). A GW or even 10 GW reactor is not unreasonable. Bussard liked to stress though that the money economics favored multiple smaller machines over a single large machine*. Both because of size (radius) cost escalation- he used a general estimate of financial costs scaling as the radius cubed, and the preference of power companies for reactors of a few 100 MW power plants to be plugged into the power grid. That is one of the major problems with the Tokamak. If it works it will start at about 5-10 GW before it is profitable at the huge plant. But that makes economical distribution of that amount of localized power through the grid more challenging.

* Power companies seem to like the ~ 300-500 MW electrical output plants. Even when they need more local power they tend to cluster these smaller plants rather than building single megaplants.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

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