More Helion Energy news....

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

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mvanwink5
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:04 pm

"I just want to add that. Clearly Peter Thiel does, or he would not be investing in Helion."

You make a good point that it would indeed be easy for Thiel to let key people know the positive status of the Fusion race. That is a good point, but it may be also that he does not want funds to go to Helion's competition. Same with TAE and GF.

Good to hear you have continued confidence. We all look forward to breakthrough news.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:10 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:"I just want to add that. Clearly Peter Thiel does, or he would not be investing in Helion."
You make a good point that it would indeed be easy for Thiel to let key people know the positive status of the Fusion race. That is a good point, but it may be also that he does not want funds to go to Helion's competition. Same with TAE and GF.

From what I understand, he was trying to talk to Trump about putting more funding into fusion startups, none the less. I don't think he got through to him :(
Musk also was on the advisory board for Trump for a while. He even stayed on after getting a lot of flack for doing so. But he has quit since. From what I understand Trump is not the kind of man, who takes others advice.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:11 pm

crowberry wrote:It is great that Helion Energy has been able to collect 30 MUSD over the past three years. Having their team expanded to 24 persons sounds also good. But unless they really publish something solid there could be a risk that the cash flow dries up if they encounter unexpected problems with the machine they are building.

I am sure that they could publish their results at any time, if necessary. From what I understand, right now they are doing what their investors want, which is to keep quiet.

crowberry
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby crowberry » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:52 pm

Here is Helion Energys abstract for the upcoming 60th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics conference.

Abstract: BM9.00005 : Overview of Staged Magnetic Compression of FRC targets

Helion Energy is building several fusion systems, based on Staged Magnetic Compression of Field Reverse Configurations (FRC). The FRC is a high-Beta compact toroid that may lead to fusion power plants with linear topologies, high power density, and direct energy recovery that minimize the reactor engineering and environmental concerns of fusion energy. Presented is an overview of Helion’s approach and an update on the ARPA-E research program, Staged Magnetic Compression of FRC Targets to Fusion Conditions. In this approach, a high-poloidal flux FRC target is formed and translated into a cylindrical, high-field compression region. The FRC target is then compressed to multi-keV temperatures and relevant fusion densities. An overview to the approach and historical background will be provided along with key recent technical progress. An overview of FRC macro-stability criteria and limitations and transport scaling will be detailed. In addition, power-plant analyses for a range of magnetically compressed FRC approaches will be summarized, including key scaling relationships and primary cost drivers.


http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DPP18/Session/BM9.5

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:38 pm

Not much new information, but still worth a post:
https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/10/h ... -year.html

mvanwink5
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:50 pm

2018 is Helion's target for completing their net fusion device, leading presumably testing in 2019. Not much time remaining in 2018 to finish construction so it must be close. None of these guys ever gives enough detail to know what 'completion' means. They talk like O&M people, or worse like Elon Musk. Nevertheless, the 2018 date is good news (assuming NBF info is not 2 years old).

General Fusion seems to be claiming that the last full scale piece, the adiabatic, stable under compression spheromak plasma injector, PI3, has been proven. At this point they are targeting building a demonstration plant. No date for that that I have seen.

In my way of thinking, plasma is the big hurdle, the impossible to know until proven, so for the adiabatic + stable under compression plasma to be proven is good news for all the FRC variants (TriAlpha is a bit different in that they are not doing a pulse compression, but their results are encouraging).

Get ready for commercial fusion is what it sounds like.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Maui
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Maui » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:12 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:Nevertheless, the 2018 date is good news (assuming NBF info is not 2 years old).

It seems this Seattle Business Magazine story from April is the source for this NBF article; looks like they took a bit of info from that article (including the end-of-year target) and mashed it with existing copy on Helion.

Not 2 years old, but nothing very fresh here either.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:02 pm

Yes, I presume that we won't see results for Helion's new device before some time next year. Would be exciting to see them reach break even in 2019!
The others are not that far behind either and we might see several contenders reach break even in the coming 5 years.
Given the currently known timelines, Helion Energy, Tokamak Energy and LPP seem to be the closest, followed by Tri Alpha and General Fusion. There is also another Z- Pinch concept (in addition to Zap Energy's SFS Z- Pinch) that I recently read about. I can't remember the name, but they sounded very aggressive in their schedule.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:22 am

David Kirtley of Helion Energy presented some of their latest research at the APS meeting on Monday November the 5th:
http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/DPP18/Session/BM9.5

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:12 pm

Brief Power Point presentation on the progress Helion made under ARPA-E Alpha:
https://arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default ... irtley.pdf

ladajo
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby ladajo » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:12 pm

Skipjack wrote:Yes, I presume that we won't see results for Helion's new device before some time next year. Would be exciting to see them reach break even in 2019!
The others are not that far behind either and we might see several contenders reach break even in the coming 5 years.
Given the currently known timelines, Helion Energy, Tokamak Energy and LPP seem to be the closest, followed by Tri Alpha and General Fusion. There is also another Z- Pinch concept (in addition to Zap Energy's SFS Z- Pinch) that I recently read about. I can't remember the name, but they sounded very aggressive in their schedule.



I think you may be overoptimistic on these things. My take is the public face is painted and glossy, while the wake up and look in the mirror face is not for all of them. At the end of the day, they are all competing for support, and that tends to skew the picture they paint in my experience.

Personally, I am not so sure that Tri-Alpha or General Fusion will be around in five years given my spidey sense of high tech hand-waving going on...
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:51 pm

ladajo wrote:Personally, I am not so sure that Tri-Alpha or General Fusion will be around in five years given my spidey sense of high tech hand-waving going on...

I agree that these two could potentially falter. I am concerned about the way their reactor designs have become more and more complicated (and bigger) over time. Helion is building a full scale prototype right now and they are fully funded. So they should be fine at least until they know for sure that their design will work or not.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Tue May 28, 2019 11:16 pm

The Helion Energy website has been updated with some new content. According to their website their prototypes have now demonstrated that they can do it (though they seemingly still keep things under wraps, probably to avoid too much hype). They can now produce Helium3 (presumably) at a competitive cost. Aiming for a first commercial plant in 6 years.
http://www.helionenergy.com/

williatw
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby williatw » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:29 pm

Anybody have any updates on this:




The Fusion Driven Rocket: Nuclear Propulsion through Direct Conversion of Fusion Energy


by John Slough

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/file ... tagged.pdf

Image


The future of manned space exploration and development of space depends critically on the creation of a dramatically more proficient propulsion architecture for in-space transportation. A very persuasive reason for investigating the applicability of nuclear power in rockets is the vast energy density gain of nuclear fuel when compared to chemical combustion energy. Current nuclear fusion efforts have focused on the generation of electric grid power and are wholly inappropriate for space transportation as the application of a reactor based fusion-electric system creates a colossal mass and heat rejection problem for space application. The Fusion Driven rocket (FDR) represents a revolutionary approach to fusion propulsion where the power source releases its energy directly into the propellant, not requiring conversion to electricity. It employs a solid lithium propellant that requires no significant tankage mass. The propellant is rapidly heated and accelerated to high exhaust velocity (> 30 km/s), while having no significant physical interaction with the spacecraft thereby avoiding damage to the rocket and limiting both the thermal heat load and radiator mass. In addition, it is believed that the FDR can be realized with little extrapolation from currently existing technology, at high specific power (~ 1 kW/kg), at a reasonable mass scale (<100 mt), and therefore cost. If realized, it would not only enable manned interplanetary space travel, it would allow it to become common place. The key to achieving all this stems from research at MSNW on the magnetically driven implosion of metal foils onto a magnetized plasma target to obtain fusion conditions. A logical extension of this work leads to a method that utilizes these metal shells (or liners) to not only achieve fusion conditions, but to serve as the propellant as well. Several low-mass, magnetically-driven metal liners are inductively driven to converge radially and axially and form a thick blanket surrounding the target plasmoid and compress the plasmoid to fusion conditions. Virtually all of the radiant, neutron and particle energy from the plasma is absorbed by the encapsulating, metal blanket thereby isolating the spacecraft from the fusion process and eliminating the need for large radiator mass. This energy, in addition to the intense Ohmic heating at peak magnetic field compression, is adequate to vaporize and ionize the metal blanket. The expansion of this hot, ionized metal propellant through a magnetically insulated nozzle produces high thrust at the optimal Isp. The energy from the fusion process, is thus utilized at very high efficiency. Expanding on the results from the phase I effort, phase II will focus on achieving three key criteria for the Fusion Driven Rocket to move forward for technological development:
1.the physics of the FDR must be fully understood and validated,
2.the design and technology development for the FDR required for its implementation in space must be fully characterized, and
3.an in-depth analysis of the rocket design and spacecraft integration as well as mission architectures enabled by the FDR need to be performed. Fulfilling these three elements form the major tasks to be completed in the proposed Phase II study. A subscale, laboratory liner compression test facility will be assembled with sufficient liner kinetic energy (~ 0.5 MJ) to reach fusion breakeven conditions. Initial studies of liner convergence will be followed by validation tests of liner compression of a magnetized plasma to fusion conditions. A complete characterization of both the FDR and spacecraft will be performed and will include conceptual descriptions, drawings, costing and TRL assessment of all subsystems. The Mission Design Architecture analysis will examine a wide range of mission architectures and destination for which this fusion propulsion system would be enabling or critical. In particular a rapid, single launch manned Mars mission will be detailed.


Last Updated: March 26, 2019

Editor: Loura Hall



https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/space ... en_rocket/

Another good idea that has seemingly languished because of not understandable apparent neglect. Using electromagnetic fields for mechanical compression/heating of the fuel seems to work better than magnetic confinement on its own; not surprising when you consider that's what the Sun uses. The (rapidly) compressed lithium blanket not only compresses/heats the fuel to fusion temperatures it also acts as a neutron absorber of the Deuterium/Tritium fusion & probably breeding more Tritium to burn as well. Furthermore the then vaporized metal becomes the propellant for the rocket.
Last edited by williatw on Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mvanwink5
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:38 pm

Should Helion be successful with their fusion to electric project which is sufficiently funded at this point, then we could no doubt expect this application to be resurrected. There is a good chance we will see this even before commercialization as proof of principle should be enough.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.


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