More Helion Energy news....

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

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

mvanwink5
Posts: 1808
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:42 pm

Gubermant all eggs in one huge basket will suffer budgetary doubt. So, ITER will suffer greatly, which will flush out the career physicists. Then the naysayers will turn positive on other prospective dark horses. The Navy might revisit polywell as well as they still need a high density power plant. VC's left out of the break even venture will face greed vs risk pressure. Too much drama will ensue... That is my crystal ball tea leaf prognostication.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
Posts: 6034
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:25 pm

AcesHigh wrote:A question, maybe more about markets than fusion itself... what do you guys think will happen to investments in other fusion projects the moment the first one breaks even? Will other projects get more funding, the moment someone proves fusion is achievable and economically viable? Or will investors give up on risking in other methods and only put money on projects similar to the one that worked, with minor tech differences?

I predict that it would start something simillar to the Dot Com boom with hundreds of new startups that will try to monetize of this, by either developing strategies to improve the first technology(or technologies) that achieved break even or by offering new ideas, some feasible some not so much (just like there were many Dot Coms that were completely idiotic). Overall, I would expect a huge economic boost and a very quick improvement on the results.

djolds1
Posts: 1296
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:03 am

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby djolds1 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:01 pm

AcesHigh wrote:A question, maybe more about markets than fusion itself... what do you guys think will happen to investments in other fusion projects the moment the first one breaks even? Will other projects get more funding, the moment someone proves fusion is achievable and economically viable? Or will investors give up on risking in other methods and only put money on projects similar to the one that worked, with minor tech differences?
All of the promising dark horse programs are on relatively shoestring budgets. The moment the first pays off, I think money floods to the other candidates and we get rapid parallel progress.

Note that ICE development in the late 19th century didn't freeze in place with the demonstration of the Otto cycle in 1862 - a huge range of options were conceived and demonstrated, the latest bloomer being the wankel cycle c.1930.

Most of the range of workable designs should be demonstrated within 20 years of the initial exemplar, much as with aeronautic powerplants. After that the problem is one of elaborating on the potentials of the basic workable designs until diminishing returns starts pushing back; parallel to the development of tubejets - pulsejets into ramjets and dead-ending at scamjets (NOT sp). Maybe we get one late bloomer "basic" design at the ~50 year point - 2070 or so.

mvanwink5 wrote:Gubermant all eggs in one huge basket will suffer budgetary doubt. So, ITER will suffer greatly, which will flush out the career physicists. Then the naysayers will turn positive on other prospective dark horses. The Navy might revisit polywell as well as they still need a high density power plant. VC's left out of the break even venture will face greed vs risk pressure. Too much drama will ensue... That is my crystal ball tea leaf prognostication.
Any unwary engineers will be screwed the same way Edison and Westinghouse screwed Tesla.

Skipjack wrote:I predict that it would start something simillar to the Dot Com boom with hundreds of new startups that will try to monetize of this, by either developing strategies to improve the first technology(or technologies) that achieved break even or by offering new ideas, some feasible some not so much (just like there were many Dot Coms that were completely idiotic). Overall, I would expect a huge economic boost and a very quick improvement on the results.
Maybe. One weakness is that fusion will be trying to slot itself into already established fields - electricity power generation, aerospace, etc. Lots of established interests to gum up the works.
Vae Victis

birchoff
Posts: 200
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:11 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby birchoff » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:08 pm

djolds1 wrote:Maybe. One weakness is that fusion will be trying to slot itself into already established fields - electricity power generation, aerospace, etc. Lots of established interests to gum up the works.


I am not so sure I would agree with you on this for all fusion devices. I think the D+D and D+T devices would have a problem mainly because they are just different sources of heat, and if memory serves the number of neutrons those reactions give off would lead to at the least low level radioactivity of the reactor. which means companies that would like to live off the Fossil Fuel or Existing Fission reactor teet for a little while longer will be able to leverage the anti nuke groups to slow down deployment. I say slow down instead of stop because I am sure that Russia and China will have no issues telling their environmental groups to go suck it, while they build their versions.

On the other hand the groups working on aneutronic (Helion and LPP) would most likely have the least amount of troubles getting their reactors deployed in the US. The only thing that makes me hesitant about that pronouncement is if the aneutronic reactors come after the neutronic ones they could get painted with the same brush. That said, I believe Fusion in either form would still win out as long as the capital costs are an order of magnitude lower than Fission reactors. This is why I agree that ITER would most likely either die or need to be spun as a vital R&D effort to allow the other reactor types to continue scaling.

djolds1
Posts: 1296
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:03 am

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby djolds1 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:26 am

birchoff wrote:
djolds1 wrote:Maybe. One weakness is that fusion will be trying to slot itself into already established fields - electricity power generation, aerospace, etc. Lots of established interests to gum up the works.
I am not so sure I would agree with you on this for all fusion devices. I think the D+D and D+T devices would have a problem mainly because they are just different sources of heat, and if memory serves the number of neutrons those reactions give off would lead to at the least low level radioactivity of the reactor. Which means companies that would like to live off the Fossil Fuel or Existing Fission reactor teet for a little while longer will be able to leverage the anti nuke groups to slow down deployment. I say slow down instead of stop because I am sure that Russia and China will have no issues telling their environmental groups to go suck it, while they build their versions.

On the other hand the groups working on aneutronic (Helion and LPP) would most likely have the least amount of troubles getting their reactors deployed in the US. The only thing that makes me hesitant about that pronouncement is if the aneutronic reactors come after the neutronic ones they could get painted with the same brush. That said, I believe Fusion in either form would still win out as long as the capital costs are an order of magnitude lower than Fission reactors. This is why I agree that ITER would most likely either die or need to be spun as a vital R&D effort to allow the other reactor types to continue scaling.
If anything, "alternate heat source" DT and DD reactors would be easier to slot into existing infrastructure than direct-conversion aneutronic reactors. The turbines are already in place at the power plants. The power companies would only need to rip out the boilers and slot in the DT reactors, as well as maybe an additional thermal loop to isolate the neutronicity of the reactor from the working fluid used to drive the turbines. The General Fusion design is very nice for that fuel cycle - the passive stability of its ability to use and control the neutronicity of DT is just beautiful. Perfect for groundside capital power plants as well.

Of course, the conditions for DD and DHe3 are close enough that if you've cracked DD you might as well see if you can stretch to the better option. Which appears to be precisely the route Helion has walked/ is walking. And yes, regulators snuffing progress in fusion by going "Nukular! Evul! Back you Spawn of Satan!" would definitely be a net loss for the North Atlantic, tho not for other areas of the world less trapped by mental stupidity.

And don't get me wrong. If successful, and especially if successful with any of the various aneutronic fuel cycle routes, fusion will phase in over time. No question. I just don't see the "Dot Com boom" Skipjack was projecting if the fusion dark horses start paying out c. 2020 or so. As you point out - there's a lot of sunk cost in hydrocarbon and fission to amortize out. And hydrocarbon will probably remain the superior fuel for passenger transport conveyances for a good long time - its density of energy storage and ease of transport, delivery and utilization is very hard to beat at the human as opposed to grid levels. I wouldn't advise putting the brakes on fusion efforts so as to frustrate China or Russia however. Better to have fresh tools on-hand soonest.

As to ITER and the inertial boom chamber reactors... they're starting to remind me of zeppelins. The early promise of manned flight that never quite payed out, but look just great in Steampunk fiction. Perhaps Tok-punk fiction will become popular c. 2090? :twisted: ITER is doing useful work for inspiring funding and progress with high performance superconductors and high tesla field magnetics, so we'll lose those if the dark horses succeed. Unfortunate, but life is never fair, and the trade off is more than worth it.
Vae Victis

birchoff
Posts: 200
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:11 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby birchoff » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:53 am

I get your point djolds1.

I think I would like to believe that ,at least in the aneutronic case. That if the technology is made available, then some enterprising business person looking to make money will take it up and run with it. Assuming a significant reduction in capital costs for the power plant which are a large part of the costs of being a utility. Off the bat I could think of at least two places that one could setup shop to make some money out the gate. Those places would be Alaska and Antarctica. I would also add Hawaii to that list if you could figure out a way to sell the state government on making it advantageous for its state residents to move over to technologies that would be enabled by the cheap electricity. I also think California and Nevada would be favorable locations. Since you could use the cheap electricity to desalinate large amounts of water. Granted in the Nevada scenario you would need to build a water pipeline.

Those roll outs would provide a company looking to apply this technology enough early wins to get the ball rolling. That said I also think, in the case of the DD\DT reactions, if they can scale it down to where it could provide undemanding high quality heat for industrial applications that could also be a valuable market.

That said if our local and federal leaders were smart they would put in place a plan where we simply fast tract the deployment of fusion reactors. Then simply export all that LNG to other countries at cheap rates till they manage to get enough money to afford one themselves. The procedes of such action could go towards paying down our debt.

rcain
Posts: 992
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:43 pm
Contact:

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby rcain » Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:00 am

story just hit techcrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/14/y-comb ... n-startup/

- congrats to Hellion & John Slough - well deserved investment at last. Look forward to seeing their 5-year plan, & some further practical results.

quixote
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:44 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby quixote » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:24 am

This bit from the tech crunch article on Helion made me laugh for it's (I think unintentional) implication.
Unlike ITER, the international effort to build the world’s largest experimental fusion reactor ....

Skipjack
Posts: 6034
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:49 pm

quixote wrote:This bit from the tech crunch article on Helion made me laugh for it's (I think unintentional) implication.
Unlike ITER, the international effort to build the world’s largest experimental fusion reactor ....

But ITER is the largest experimental fusion reactor.

quixote
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:44 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby quixote » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:57 pm

Sure. But is the goal to create the largest reactor, or to demonstrate a viable reactor?

Skipjack
Posts: 6034
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:04 pm

quixote wrote:Sure. But is the goal to create the largest reactor, or to demonstrate a viable reactor?

On that I agree. It is also worth noting that JET will do break even experiments with T+D before ITER comes online...

birchoff
Posts: 200
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:11 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby birchoff » Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:24 am

Skipjack wrote:So, while I am writing up my summary of the interview (that was a long conversation there, thanks so much to Dave for his time!), I will just jump in here to say that according to Dave, their reactors do scale very well. The 50 MWe was chosen for a first generation power plant for economic and practical reasons. It is much easier to deploy a more compact 50 MW reactor than a much larger reactor with multiple GW of power.



Hey skip whatever happened to that summary from the helion guys?

Skipjack
Posts: 6034
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:44 am

birchoff wrote:
Skipjack wrote:So, while I am writing up my summary of the interview (that was a long conversation there, thanks so much to Dave for his time!), I will just jump in here to say that according to Dave, their reactors do scale very well. The 50 MWe was chosen for a first generation power plant for economic and practical reasons. It is much easier to deploy a more compact 50 MW reactor than a much larger reactor with multiple GW of power.



Hey skip whatever happened to that summary from the helion guys?

Waiting for feedback from Dave before I post it. It turned into a rather long thing and I wanted him to vet it before I publish it. I want to avoid accidentally spreading wrong information. I might have misunderstood something somewhere.

crowberry
Posts: 496
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby crowberry » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:16 pm

It is good to be careful with these matters as wrong information can do a lot of harm. Hope you get the clearance to publish your text soon.

mvanwink5
Posts: 1808
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:36 pm

These days in the darkness of Dark Horse Fusion race, funding is the key to, first, survival, then the scientists have to do their thing. The problem is, it seems to my windowless and insulated room, that some of the projects are scientist heavy and light on risk reducing business structuring, and light on VC recruiting and negotiations. Navigating those white water rapids has resulted in splintered dreams of us fans. With that in mind, lately, I have focused on funding news and how the funding is structured, so I found this buried bone in an article about Helion (old news, no doubt to everyone else, but I am a sub-neophite slogger compared to the super sleuths that populate this blog):

http://www.xconomy.com/national/2014/08 ... c-startup/
How to Fund an Atomic Startup
8/21/14
In one way, the investment isn’t so unusual: Helion Energy has to hit spelled-out technical milestones before it raises a planned Series B in about a year.


So, depending on Helion's test milestones will be Series B (B as in big money) in fall 2015. Now go back to sleep....
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.


Return to “News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], hanelyp, MSN [Bot] and 2 guests