Why Not Just Build The Darn Thing

Discuss the technical details of an "open source" community-driven design of a polywell reactor.

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

choff
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Post by choff »

Could the output of WB 7.1 be increased using fuel pellets instead of gas? I've heard of compressed metallic hydrogen, could DT be formed into tiny packets the same way?

The reason I bring this up is because from the looks of things EMC2 will probably be looking at $2 million annual budgets for the near forseeable future. That's probably enough to swap out one set of diagnostic equipment and install/test with another once or twice a year making minor modifications.

They bring the results back to the government controller who says here's a new set of diagnostics or new simulation program to try out. The tests and sims might only be good for tokamaks but its hard to argue or the budget people begin to have doubts. This goes on forever unless they run out of new tests, the staff move on/retire, or they get lucky and get a big budget.

So what else can you do with WB 7.1 on $2 million a year? Maybe take it apart and reassemble it with 2 new coils in an 8 sided config, and then spend 3 or 4 more years repeating every single test you did on WB 7.1?

If using fuel pellets could boost output by a factor or two the right people might begin to notice, this assumes the modification can be done for under $2 million and its practical. Maybe a pulse operated machine could be built for something between the current annual amount and the $40 million MSimon is proposing. With fuel pellets in pulse mode a full scale machine might not have the vacuum problem discussed in another thread.
CHoff

chrismb
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Post by chrismb »

choff wrote:Could the output of WB 7.1 be increased using fuel pellets instead of gas?
You mean like JET already uses - that experiment that can already put out 10's of MW of neutrons that can actually take advantage of frozen pellets of deuterium - as opposed to WB7 that has puts out 3 blips on a detector? Why talk about fuel when it still hasn't put out ANY repeatable fast-fast neutrons yet? There has to be some established, demonstrated process for which alternative fuel inputs might help before even contemplating this...

bobshipp
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Why not just build the thing

Post by bobshipp »

Simon:

Ok, lets get it done. Since January, I have been waiting for Google to announce the finalists in its contest to jump start projects that have the most benefit for the most people. I had hoped that the project I had submitted for WB-8 would be one of the finalists. However Google has postponed its announcement twice and has given no future date.

Had my proposal been selected, I felt it would have given me enough standing to approach rnebel and company. with a proposal to fund both an intermediate project and also the 100 MW prototype.

Let's see if we can get somewhere without the Google boost. You had mentioned somewhere in a previous post that rnebel and company. might grant you a license. With that in mind, let me outline what the funding proposal would look like.

Basically it would have EMC2 sell rights to future licenses now.

It would be a three step process with 22 bundles of fifty licenses.

In the first step, a $5,000 nonrefundable deposit would establish on a first come basis, the right to proceed to step 2.

In step 2, after 22 initial deposits were made those buyers would be given 30 days to put up $900,000 each into escrow to build WB-8.

Step 3: if WB-8 could be built and tested in a year or so, then the 22 buyers would have the option of providing an additional 10 million each to build the prototype 100 MW plant.

Hopefully, it would be up and running by the end of Obama's first term.

Each buyer would then be given a 1/22 interest in the revenue from that plant as well as a license to build 50 more plants each. The right to licenses could be sold on the open market at any time in the process.
EMC2 would agree not to issue any more licenses for less than 1 million each until all those issued had been used up.

The original deposits in the first step would be used to cover the legal work and drawing of contracts for the subsequent steps as well as soliciting buyers.

That is a brief outline.
Last edited by bobshipp on Mon May 04, 2009 11:27 pm, edited 5 times in total.

chrismb
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Re: Why not just build the thing

Post by chrismb »

bobshipp wrote: Let's see if we can get somewhere without the Google boost. You had mentioned somewhere in a previous post that rnebel and company. might grant you a license.
But you don't need a licence!!!

Bussard's main claim, generating a point-cusped magnetic field and injecting electrons (thus confined) then ions confined by those electrons, expired on October 29th 2005.

All the patents since that expired one of 1985 (US4826646) are just fiddling around with details, this main core claim has long expired (showing just how long this story has been dragging on).

Go for it! No licence required.... Why not just build the darn thing?

Aero
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Post by Aero »

Much better to have Nebel and EMC2 on your side, instead of leaving them out in the cold. Inquire about a license and they will tell you if and what rights you need to license .
Aero

93143
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Post by 93143 »

chrismb wrote:...as opposed to WB7 that has puts out 3 blips on a detector? Why talk about fuel when it still hasn't put out ANY repeatable fast-fast neutrons yet?
Quit making unsubstantiated claims about this technology. We don't know the results from WB-7 yet.

We DO know the results from WB-6, and while it was far from clear what the fusion mechanism was, the neutrons were repeatable - there were five tests; all of them produced between 1 and 3 neutron counts with an apparent positive correlation with increasing B field and drive voltage. Considering the very short time window for the counts, the order of magnitude of the fusion rate can be determined, and it is apparent that the actual neutron yields were consistent with fast-fast fusion in a properly-functioning recirculating wiffleball. (Not to say that's the only possibility, of course...)

Those were the results WB-7 was supposed to replicate and confirm, and apparently it did.

You should know this already.

chrismb
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Post by chrismb »

93143 wrote: Those were the results WB-7 was supposed to replicate and confirm, and apparently it did.

You should know this already.
It was WB6 I was intending to refer to. My error. Though, if WB7 has replicated these results, then it'll be 3 blips on a counter?....

Roger
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Post by Roger »

@ chris

Maybe 3 blips, maybe 4 or 5. D Nebel has inferred he got neutrons, just like Wb-6.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

93143
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Post by 93143 »

chrismb wrote:It was WB6 I was intending to refer to. My error. Though, if WB7 has replicated these results, then it'll be 3 blips on a counter?....
Okay, I really should have taken that possibility into account... I was in too much of a hurry to be ironic, I guess...

Still, "3 blips on a counter" is misrepresenting the case; see my previous post. Also, given the length of time they've had to test WB-7 (apparently it doesn't short as easily as WB-6), I'd expect much more comprehensive test results... Also, they weren't just testing for neutrons; rnebel's statements thus far have indicated that an investigation of the confinement characteristics of the device has been performed and came out well.

chrismb
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Post by chrismb »

93143 wrote:Also, they weren't just testing for neutrons
Give me neutron rates, then I'll be happy! I'd like to see neutron rate versus drive voltage (all else constant). Is that so much to ask? Waiting, waiting, and keenly interested.. oh, did I mention 'and waiting'?

Is there any indication over what drive voltages these 1 to 5 neutron counts occurred? Surprising amounts of information can be gleaned from the tiniest scraps, but I do need to know the drive voltages used.

Roger
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Post by Roger »

93143 wrote: I'd expect much more comprehensive test results...
Publishing ban.

Duh.

@ Chris, Nebel inferred that WB-7 behaved like WB-6, he also inferred that making one change at a time was crucial.


I just take that to mean WB=6 was the same size, drive, etc. as WB-7. Otherwise there can be no real comparison of WB-6 to Wb-7, now that would be a very stoopid way of going about things.

SO instead WB-7 was made as close to WB-6, and operated as close as can be, otherwise how do you compare test results?

Answer, you have a really hard time validating WB-6, if WB-7 is 5cm radius larger, or operated at a higher voltage, now dont you think?.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

chrismb
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Post by chrismb »

Roger wrote:Answer, you have a really hard time validating WB-6, if WB-7 is 5cm radius larger, or operated at a higher voltage, now dont you think?.
This debate is two debates, apples-and-oranges style. For me I just wanna see some go'darned neutrons, with a rate versus voltage dependency. That'll confirm if the thing is working as billed or not, 5cm bigger or 5 x as big. Don't matter to me none! Two data points at different drive voltages is all I need (if the statistical significance is good). So, no, personally I'm not really interested in validating one against the other....

Y'see, I reckon that what'll happen is that you'll get a thermalised plasma and out of those cusps will pop some high energy ions. So they'll beam into the sidewalls, embed themselves, then promptly have the next ion ram them up the ass, with which it will fuse. So I'm expecting to see fast-stationary fusion. If I see something else, I'll go Jeckle-and-Hyde on you and promptly become a Polywell advocate rather than stay an abvocate(?) (what's the opposite of advocate??). There can be no good explanation for fast-fast reactions other than something special going on. There are plenty of terribly boring and mediocre ways that beam-target fusion can happen when you've got 10's kV floating around.... very simple, straight forward explanations. So, neutrons on their own doesn't wash because Occam's razor easily cuts that claim of success if there isn't a strong indication of fast-fast neutrons.

clonan
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Post by clonan »

chrismb wrote:
Y'see, I reckon that what'll happen is that you'll get a thermalised plasma and out of those cusps will pop some high energy ions. So they'll beam into the sidewalls, embed themselves, then promptly have the next ion ram them up the ass, with which it will fuse. So I'm expecting to see fast-stationary fusion.
chrisb,

I am not a physics person so please excuse my igorance. I was under the impression that you couldn't simply plate an electrode with B11 and run up the charge to attract the proton because the chance of a fusion event was so small that the electrode would melt before break-even. This is with the proton diving straight for the target.

With your description, a deuteron comes out the cusp and sticks to the wall. Then a second on comes out of the cusp and hits the first causing fusion.

But after the particle leaves the cusp it would have no specific attraction to the prior particle and would then form a cone of probability for where it impacts the wall. The chance of a fusion event would be dictated by the velocity of the 2nd particle, the distance of the cusp from the wall and the pressure inside the reactor. All of this is calculatable (although not by me).

Since many of your other posts talk about the need for very low pressure inside the chamber, I can assume the fuel ions are relativly rare which makes the possibility of random fusion events based in the wall of the container extremly rare.

While I don't have the time to calculate this out, it seems like the possibility of random fusion as you described is even less likely than a functional polywell.

Just a thought.

chrismb
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Post by chrismb »

This process of fusion with embedded deuterium in the walls is entirely normal for fusor operations. In the case of a fusor, it tends to happen more with fast neutrals, that is to say whilst the fast deuterons are tear-arsing around, they pick up a neutralising electron then they high tail it straight into fuel molecules embedded in the walls.

Whether this process happens in a Polywell, or whether it's because the magrid is postively charged with respect to the wall, I don't know but for sure the charge neutralisation process is definitely a 'normal' way of getting fusion out of these things.

The degree to which it occurs actually tends to depend on the fuel type - according to the Uni Wisconsin work. They've done several papers on this stuff and have pin-pointed where fusion tends to occur. I seem to recall that it is D3He fusion that has the highest tendency for the fast-embedded fusion type to occur - why, I know not, nor did Wisconsin as far as I recall. Just one of those oddities of the physical world. But fast neutral/embedded fuel-molecule fusion - you bet that happens, and plenty enough for it to be detected.

Fast ion/lab-stationary target happens all the time. In tokamaks, some 50% of all the fusion in a pulse is like this and if it didn't happen in the first half of the pulse then the plasma wouldn't get hot enough to 'go thermonuclear'. Fast/slow fusion is the norm, not the exception - hence I expect to see it but will be pleasantly shocked if a Polywell actually turns out fast-fast reactions. To my mind, if it can comprehensively demonstrate this then it should definitely be further invested in. If not, then it's another dead-end fusion experiment to add to the 50-odd list [of mostly dead-end fusion experiments] I posted up in another recent thread.

93143
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Post by 93143 »

Roger wrote:
93143 wrote: I'd expect much more comprehensive test results...
Publishing ban.

Duh.
Careful. I thought it was fairly clear that I meant more comprehensive results than WB-6, not more comprehensive results than they've showed us so far. I know all about the publishing ban and I don't expect them to show us the data for a while.
chrismb wrote:Is there any indication over what drive voltages these 1 to 5 neutron counts occurred? Surprising amounts of information can be gleaned from the tiniest scraps, but I do need to know the drive voltages used.
5 kV drive, 800 A (1000 gauss) - 1 count
9.8 kV, 750 A - 2 counts
12.5 kV, 700 A - 2 counts
12.5 kV, 800 A - 3 counts
14 kV, 1000 A - 1 count, loss of device

That's at about 13,000 neutrons (26,000 fusions) per count, over what looks like maybe a quarter of a millisecond or less in the case with 3 counts.

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