More Helion Energy news....

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

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Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:04 am

Helion is currently building their next test device. The next device after that is expected to demonstrated net energy gain. They have been moving through test builds rather quickly, but net gain demonstration will probably not happen before 2020.
https://www.geekwire.com/2018/commercia ... ectations/

mvanwink5
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:17 am

Pressure is on, at least the top 3 discussed here seem to be neck and neck and I don't think being first is being taken lightly. One might even guess that sandbagging might be taking place on their public target dates.

But is is win-win for us which ever one is first.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

ladajo
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby ladajo » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:18 pm

sandbagging


I think it more likely that they are exaggerating in order to keep funding going. (IMHO).
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 Feb 15, 2018 3:39 pm

ladajo wrote:
sandbagging


I think it more likely that they are exaggerating in order to keep funding going. (IMHO).

I would say that the opposite is true for Helion, actually. David Kirtley has been a lot more reserved with his predictions in recent years (also see the article). The 2020 estimate is my prediction based on the progress they have had with their previous test devices and the fact that their new device is currently under construction. They seem to have a (roughly) two year cycle with test devices. So around 2020 for the next build after the one currently in construction seems like a good estimate.

ladajo
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby ladajo » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:25 pm

I hope you are right. One or more of these horses needs to finish the race.
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 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:06 am

And Helion Energy is getting close! Very close!
The article seems to be a bit sketchy on the details but the message is clear. Helion is on the path to beat them all to break even!
Helion Energy believes it’s making progress in this arena by building the latest in a series of prototype generators, what it describes as a full-scale, break-even-or-better (meaning more energy is released than the process uses) model, to be ready this year. It has raised enough capital to get it through that stage, Kirtley says, and recently brought on its 24th employee.


http://seattlebusinessmag.com/technolog ... generation

ladajo
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby ladajo » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:36 am

In the mean time, it appears the Chinese have been leveraging their access to ITER in an attempt to surge ahead on their own...

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-china-blog-43792655

Why the U.S. government and industry doesn't wake the fook up is beyond me.
Fusion is going to happen, and who gets there first is going to be better positioned to exploit the coming Energy Age, where everything will change for the human race.

Idiots.
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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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:24 pm

ladajo wrote:In the mean time, it appears the Chinese have been leveraging their access to ITER in an attempt to surge ahead on their own...

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-china-blog-43792655

Why the U.S. government and industry doesn't wake the fook up is beyond me.
Fusion is going to happen, and who gets there first is going to be better positioned to exploit the coming Energy Age, where everything will change for the human race.

Idiots.

Yes, Michl Binderbauer lamented that in an interview the other day. There is no sense of urgency among western governments and institutions. I still think that Helion, TE, ZAP and maybe even TAE can beat the Chinese. Helion definitely seems to be on the right track. I also think that their reactor design is much better than a Tokamak.

mvanwink5
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:14 pm

TAE Copernicus is a huge machine, which surprises me, which shows my ignorance on the details. But Helion is going for small, 50 MWe, (net?) which is perfect for incremental installations for utilities, especially smaller one, co-ops, municipals, yet Helion seems to think utilities would not be interested in buying them. Does not add up to me. Further, the military would love a power plant that size for ships, no?

What am I missing with what is being said here?

Moreover, you Trump haters seem to have slammed doors, or am I also misreading previous comments?
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

crowberry
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby crowberry » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:26 pm

The article is interesting with the claim that Helion Energy would have a break even capable device ready this year. Experiments with a new machine will take some time just to understand it and achieve previous results. It would be really nice to have a scientific paper from Helion Energy. If they have progressed as far as they claim, surely they would have interesting data to publish by now. To be taken seriously they need to publish sooner or later.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:26 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:TAE Copernicus is a huge machine, which surprises me, which shows my ignorance on the details. But Helion is going for small, 50 MWe, (net?) which is perfect for incremental installations for utilities, especially smaller one, co-ops, municipals, yet Helion seems to think utilities would not be interested in buying them. Does not add up to me. Further, the military would love a power plant that size for ships, no?

What am I missing with what is being said here?

Moreover, you Trump haters seem to have slammed doors, or am I also misreading previous comments?

That is how business goes. Sometimes an opportunity presents itself and you take it, even if other options seem like the more obvious ones. If I had to make a guess, Helion has (a) prospective client(s) expressing interest in their reactor, maybe even some letter of interest already, which would explain why they are pushing ahead quicker and with more funding than originally expected.
As for Trump: He wanted to defund ARPA-E which has proven to be a lifeline for many private fusion startups. He has no clue about fusion and even if he does, he clearly does not care. Like most republicans, he seems to be focused on oil and gas. Granted, democrats are just as clueless when it comes to fusion (they are all focusing on solar and wind) and other western governments are just as clueless.
The west will fall behind, if our relatively small and underfunded fusion startups don't succeed where our governments fail. It is a shame, really.

Skipjack
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:35 pm

crowberry wrote:The article is interesting with the claim that Helion Energy would have a break even capable device ready this year. Experiments with a new machine will take some time just to understand it and achieve previous results. It would be really nice to have a scientific paper from Helion Energy. If they have progressed as far as they claim, surely they would have interesting data to publish by now. To be taken seriously they need to publish sooner or later.

The article is a bit sketchy on the details. I presume that they mean that they will have finished building their new prototype by the end of the year and then start testing it after that. That should still put them ahead of the competition, even Tokamak Energy, who want to upgrade their ST-40 to HTSCs next year and start break even experiments soon after that. Things are definitely exciting right now!
As for peer reviewed papers, my understanding is that some investors wanted to keep things under wraps. I assume that this is why neither Helion, nor MSNW have published any fusion related papers in peer reviewed magazines in a while. They did present some updates at various ARPA-E meetings, though.

mvanwink5
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:43 pm

"He has no clue about fusion and even if he does, he clearly does not care."

None of the politicians or business people have a clue, and the second part of your comment is a reflection of your own imaginings. $$ US were accelerated into ITER, no doubt the money goes to US supplied components for the ITER. (Obama did not by the way).

I contend that Trump haters have not made any effort to make their case. Have you written???

I echo Crowberry's desire for updated published Helion data. Once Helion puts out published data for break even the field will break wide open. Do you really believe Helion is that close?? Tell me you really do and have good reason to.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

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

Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby Skipjack » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:15 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:"He has no clue about fusion and even if he does, he clearly does not care."
None of the politicians or business people have a clue, and the second part of your comment is a reflection of your own imaginings. $$ US were accelerated into ITER, no doubt the money goes to US supplied components for the ITER. (Obama did not by the way).

There are some business people that do have a clue. I just want to add that. Clearly Peter Thiel does, or he would not be investing in Helion. He is also a great proponent of fusion research in general. So are Bezos and Paul Allen, though for them it is more of a side interest.
ITER is all fine and dandy, but US fusion startups have been starved for funding. Even the MIT had trouble getting funding for anything but Tokamaks. Their Levitating Dipole was promising and was unfortunately cancelled. So was the FRC at UW.
ARPA-E has been the life line for many small fusion projects and alternatives to Tokamaks and Trump wanted to cancel it.

mvanwink5 wrote:I contend that Trump haters have not made any effort to make their case. Have you written???

What exactly do you want me to do? I know that Peter Thiel was going to talk to Trump about more funding for fusion. If he can't get through, how would I?

mvanwink5 wrote:I echo Crowberry's desire for updated published Helion data. Once Helion puts out published data for break even the field will break wide open. Do you really believe Helion is that close?? Tell me you really do and have good reason to.

I am sure that they will publish their results, when they believe the time is right. I know that David Kirtley has purposely tried to keep a relatively low key the past few years. From what I understand, their investors were not too happy about too much hype in certain news outlets. Because of all that, this article is actually a bit surprising to me. To me it means that they must be really confident to make a public statement like that.
On the other hand, I also want to caution that while this article is exciting news, the media tends to exaggerate and misrepresent things some times (not always on purpose, but reporters are not engineers and do get things wrong sometimes).
I have my personal reasons for being very confident in Helion, but I can't get into that right now.

Looking back, the first time, they got my attention was, when the former board member Art Carlson visited them and cam back convinced. Art used to be at the Max Planck Institute and was huge skeptic, especially on FRCs. He wrote his thesis about why they could never work. So the fact that they convinced him of their approach got me interested. Helion's problem has traditionally been a rather low amount of funding. So they were forced to do various smaller scale experiments that focused on systems engineering and demonstration of key parts to proof their approach to investors. I can say that they have had a lot of reasons to be confident in their approach for many years. Slough had published very encouraging results achieved with previous experiments in peer reviewed papers, years ago.

I can also tell you that back in August 2014, Helion had already achieved long enough plasma lifetime ( they need less than 3 ms ), 5 keV plasma temperature and 20 Tesla compression across various test devices. Basically, they had two of the 3 factors of the Lawson Criterion covered. The plasma temperature (35 keV is needed for break even) was the last remaining factor that they had to achieve. Back then, they had demonstrated 5 keV or 16% of that. They also had to combine all of the results in a single device.
That was 3.5 years ago.
Meanwhile, they have done a lot more experiments with new devices like VENTI. Some of their results have been published in various ARPA-E presentations by Kirtley and Slough.

To answer the other questions you had earlier: Unless something has recently changed, their D+He3 reactor would produce 50 MW electricity, not thermal. They are going to burn D+He3 and will directly convert the fusion output into electricity with a Q >= 8 (hopefully).
I can also reveal that the reactor will be around 3 meters in diameter and somewhere between 13 and 28 meters in length. The length depends mostly on the requirements of the energy extraction and fuel separation systems and Helion does not want to reveal too much about all of that yet. So that number is a bit vague.
One interesting tidbit is that the total size of a D+He3 plant can be about the same size, or even smaller than a D+T version of it, because of the more efficient energy conversion. The cost per kWh electric is expected to be about 2 cents.
Also worth noting is that the reactor scales volumetrically like other fusion reactor concepts and they can indeed make the plant any size they want.
But unlike TAE and other startups, Helion believes that smaller reactors (and depending on the application several of those in a single plant) are the better way to go. It makes maintenance easier and allows for less outage periods. They could quite easily scale it up to GW levels, though by increasing the size of the device. High Temperature Super Conductors like REBCO and YBCO would also help a lot.
If I understand it correctly, the higher output would require more engineering effort into neutron wall loads and other factors. I believe that this is another reason for them to go smaller first.

crowberry
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Re: More Helion Energy news....

Postby crowberry » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:26 pm

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 agree that the fusion race is starting to get hot and even more exciting to follow with several fusion relevant machines being built.


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