Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

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

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Giorgio
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Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by Giorgio »

mvanwink5 wrote:
Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:04 am
Nearly 400,000 views on the Helion video! Unbelievable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GJtGpvE1sQ
I still remember when 10 years ago any fusion video was hardly getting 100 views.... times are indeed changing and interest is really growing.

If Helion can indeed start to show some meaningful results it might really be the start of a golden age of investments in all fusion field.
A society of dogmas is a dead society.

Skipjack
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by Skipjack »

Here is a small bonus of footage that did not make it into the original cut. Some good information in there, again:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEt0nIBPL24

mvanwink5
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Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by mvanwink5 »

Super vid. David Kirtley is being careful with claims. With Zap Energy, I understand the unknowns, scaling vs plasma stability, but with Helion I can't see a similar window of doubt. Helion's scaling in Polaris does not have such unknowns. Perhaps SJ or others see unknowns that are significant.
Counting the days to commercial fusion. It is not that long now.

mvanwink5
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Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by mvanwink5 »

Even with the diverter, Helion has good experience with wear from their testing on Trenta and they have improved that with Polaris. IMO, Polaris is just for proof and gathering economic data for calculating cost of electric power production. Manufacturing costs, knowledge (we see that with their machining equipment and capacitor fab equipment) are also being gathered. Very different from what Zap, General Fusion, or TAE are having to accomplish with their next generation prototypes.
Counting the days to commercial fusion. It is not that long now.

Giorgio
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:15 pm
Location: China, Italy

Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by Giorgio »

Skipjack wrote:
Mon Sep 26, 2022 11:37 pm
Here is a small bonus of footage that did not make it into the original cut. Some good information in there, again:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEt0nIBPL24
At 3:28 he mention that the divertor will be made by Tungsten.
Should we conclude that their experiments with Molybdenum coated Tungsten for the divertor (that we discussed on February 2021) gave them negative results?
Do you have any info on that?
A society of dogmas is a dead society.

Skipjack
Posts: 6603
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by Skipjack »

Giorgio wrote:
Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:42 am
Skipjack wrote:
Mon Sep 26, 2022 11:37 pm
Here is a small bonus of footage that did not make it into the original cut. Some good information in there, again:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEt0nIBPL24
At 3:28 he mention that the divertor will be made by Tungsten.
Should we conclude that their experiments with Molybdenum coated Tungsten for the divertor (that we discussed on February 2021) gave them negative results?
Do you have any info on that?
They use multiple different materials like Molybdenum, Graphite and Tungsten and are testing different configurations and combinations on Trenta right now. So that is still ongoing.

mvanwink5
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Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by mvanwink5 »

They use multiple different materials like Molybdenum, Graphite and Tungsten and are testing different configurations and combinations on Trenta right now. So that is still ongoing.
That is about making improvement, but what they have tested so far is adequate. (As I recall Helion had 18 months run time on the Trenta diverters and they still had more life).
Counting the days to commercial fusion. It is not that long now.

Skipjack
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Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by Skipjack »

Yes, this is about increasing the life and economics of components in Polaris and future machines.

RERT
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Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by RERT »

18 months runtime - but how many runs?

In production, even at 1Hz, the number of runs will mount very fast.

Where are they really?

crowberry
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Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by crowberry »

RERT wrote:
Wed Sep 28, 2022 7:49 am
18 months runtime - but how many runs?

In production, even at 1Hz, the number of runs will mount very fast.

Where are they really?
On a very general level HE states in their FAQ that:
Helion's 7th fusion prototype, Polaris, will demonstrate net electricity from fusion, and will also demonstrate helium-3 production through deuterium-deuterium fusion.

Its construction will allow us to scale up the technical advancements we've achieved in our first 6 prototypes to commercial scale. Additionally, we will increase the repetition rate of fusion pulses. In Trenta, we ran fusion pulses once every ten minutes. Polaris will pulse once a second (1 Hz).
They are aiming for 1 Hz with their next device Polaris that is under construction. The pulse repetition rate depends on many things, one being the time required to analyse each pulse and come up with a better plasma configuration for the next shot. Other factors are the cooling time between shots and the time to charge up the capacitor banks.

Skipjack
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Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by Skipjack »

RERT wrote:
Wed Sep 28, 2022 7:49 am
18 months runtime - but how many runs?

In production, even at 1Hz, the number of runs will mount very fast.

Where are they really?
IIRC, they did tens of thousands of shots with Trenta.
Polaris will be 1Hz. Future power plants will be 10Hz.
Some of the big challenges involved with getting to the next shot is to evacuate the chamber quickly. Plus the power supply side of things, from what I understand.

RERT
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Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by RERT »

Well that all reconciles: 18 months at one every 10 minutes is about 80,000 shots. Allow them to sleep, and tens of thousands is about right.

But that’s of the order of a day at 1Hz.

There is room for doubt that any wear component be it divertor, capacitor, vacuum pump etc is sufficiently robust for production.

Skipjack
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by Skipjack »

RERT wrote:
Thu Sep 29, 2022 8:15 am
Well that all reconciles: 18 months at one every 10 minutes is about 80,000 shots. Allow them to sleep, and tens of thousands is about right.

But that’s of the order of a day at 1Hz.

There is room for doubt that any wear component be it divertor, capacitor, vacuum pump etc is sufficiently robust for production.
This is why they are testing these things right now. Then Polaris will test them at a higher shot rate and then they will move to the final power plant design from there (presumably, as Helion does not officially say so). I believe that once they have demonstrated net electricity production, they will have their doors run in by potential suppliers, who are eager to get a slice of the pie. There might be materials in someones drawer out there, waiting to find an application. The owners just never thought that fusion was a viable market. Plus these potential suppliers themselves will likely invest in research and will be competing to come up with the best possible solution. Plus there will be government financing to support the development. Suddenly, there will be billions for that alone. Right now, people (government and public) are just still in doubt that fusion can be done at all. All that will change with Helion achieving net electricity, maybe even already when ZAP achieves break even.
We will likely experience a boom that will dwarf the dot com rush.

mvanwink5
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by mvanwink5 »

The word 'doubt' covers a universe of variations. Even a standard coal fired power plant has issues, issues that need to be solved and even change day to day due to coal supply changes. For real power systems there are always issues, bugs in electronics, pumps that wear, pipes that spring leaks, motors with bearing problems. That is life, it is normal for large systems, you work through them.

On the other hand, Tokamaks have a first wall problem that no one has an economic solution for even after decades of study. Helion does not have that. Diverters are a wear item, likely they can be refurbished, unlike retaining rings on a large electric generator rotor that spins at 3600 RPM and can develop cracks over time.

So, 'doubts' for Helion are, IMO, related to normal systems issues that are unremarkable, as opposed to real doubts that are remarkable for Tokamak projects. (Zap, General Fusion, TAE do not have a first wall problem, their designs avoid it).

I know of no issue for Helion that rises to the level of a project stopper, (other than regulatory). Polaris is a demonstrator for non technical investors, politicians, and those with an interest in denial, IMO.
Counting the days to commercial fusion. It is not that long now.

Giorgio
Posts: 2976
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:15 pm
Location: China, Italy

Re: Helion Energy to demonstrate net electricity production by 2024

Post by Giorgio »

Skipjack wrote:
Tue Sep 27, 2022 6:24 pm
Giorgio wrote:
Tue Sep 27, 2022 8:42 am
Skipjack wrote:
Mon Sep 26, 2022 11:37 pm
Here is a small bonus of footage that did not make it into the original cut. Some good information in there, again:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEt0nIBPL24
At 3:28 he mention that the divertor will be made by Tungsten.
Should we conclude that their experiments with Molybdenum coated Tungsten for the divertor (that we discussed on February 2021) gave them negative results?
Do you have any info on that?
They use multiple different materials like Molybdenum, Graphite and Tungsten and are testing different configurations and combinations on Trenta right now. So that is still ongoing.
So is not settled yet. Ok, thanks.
I still have lot of concerns regarding the idea of using a Molybdenum front face for the divertor, especially in turbulent (and transient) plasma modes.
I guess we will have to wait and see if they will start to publish some results :D
A society of dogmas is a dead society.

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