Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

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

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crowberry
Posts: 531
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am

Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by crowberry »

Carl White wrote:Does anyone else find themselves becoming disillusioned over the whole alternative energy field?

Polywell, General Fusion, Tri Alpha, LPP, LENR, solar, hydrogen, NIF, thorium... blah blah blah. We just keep hearing about them and then they seem fade away again. Never anything concrete demonstrated. Never that definitive proof of more energy out than in. Just year after year of a trickle of hope. After a while, the hope turns to ashes. Why bother to hope when nothing ever comes.
Achieving controlled fusion is a very difficult problem to solve. Achieving scientific break even implies solving numerous problems, improving the experiments, making measurements, analysing them and so far that goal has not been achieved by any experiment. Many fusion ideas have been killed as being impossible, but it is very encouraging to see the wide amount of different devices and ideas that are currently being pursued. With limited funding progress will inevitable be slow and requires patience and persistence of the researchers. Some of the involved companies don't report at all or very little on their progress, which gives the false appearance that not much is happening. On the other hand there are some experiments reporting very openly and actively on their progress like LPP. Some concrete progress can also be seen by General Fusion which is building a 14 cylinder test device that can be viewed on their redesigned web page.
http://www.generalfusion.com/
http://www.generalfusion.com/wp-content ... e-for2.jpg

LPP has an open letter on their homepage that scientist and non-scientist can sign if they support the request for a broader fusion research funding to improve the rate of progress of fusion research.
http://www.lawrencevilleplasmaphysics.c ... &Itemid=90

mvanwink5
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by mvanwink5 »

Nice post crowberry. General Fusion's effort is a seriously believable path to commercial fusion and competitive to conventional power production (no government subsidy required to implement), with challenges that are weighted heavily on what can be built and realistically controlled, operated, and maintained (like a real power plant). In that regards, the systems being built use conventional materials and skill. General Fusion is well financed, well staffed, and has executed on plan up to the point of having built, tested, and modeled full scale subsystems up to building the sphere. A mini-sphere has been built instead of the full size sphere, but the mini-sphere uses proven full scale subsystems.
A 1 metre diameter mini-sphere with 14 full-scale acoustic drivers has been constructed to test liquid metal vortex formation and compression.
In short, it looks from my view point to be the most believable fusion effort out there, and I would go so far as to say this is the one horse in the fusion race that will make it to the finish line and make money.

Compare Tri-Alpha and General Fusion to Polywell and Polywell looks and is run like a University science study for educational purposes rather than being run like a well managed, and financed venture business, with expected success. Compare the chance of success, required private funding, and (relatively) short project time line to commercial to ITER on the one extreme (massive multi government funding and half century time line) and Polywell (less than adequate shoe string and tenuous funding commitments) on the other.

The point is not whether Tri-Alpha or General Fusion efforts are believable to anyone, these are real private projects with serious private money, support and skilled project management, and unlike SpaceX which has government contracts to fund their effort, these are private venture capital funded efforts.

Look, it is past the university science project stage, unlike Polywell.

From a Navy point of view, I can believe that Tri-Alpha has a practical ship board footprint for primary power supply, but I am not sure about General Fusion. Certainly, I can't see how General Fusion steam hammered fusion would be quiet enough for a sub! But maybe my imagination is inadequate. So, I can see that from a Navy point of view that it is still worth funding Polywell as a dark horse in case Tri-Alpha doesn't make it to the finish line.

Bottom line, fusion commercialization is in the private sector now with serious investor money, with investor success time lines, so, yea, I can believe there will be commercial, (comes after successful full scale prototype) fusion power being built maybe within this decade. But, that is just my lawn chair gnome point of view.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

ladajo
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by ladajo »

If the Artist concept is fairly accurate then yes. My question is where in the drawing are the energy converters? Not that it matters much as the plant size indicated still leaves plenty of volume from a warship design perspective.
The other equipment in use for plant support already exists in warship designs. Control and monitoring spaces, electrical distribution, line shaft and support services...etc. Some volume can be recovered from existing Gas Turbine designs due to the lack of need for air intake/exhaust systems, as well as lesson requirements for rotating equipment support (lube oil/cooling). However, there will probably be some offset with increased space cooling needs (A/C).

In short, yes, it would appear that this "artist concept" shows sufficient density to be used in current ship constructs. Please note however it is an Artist concept, and does not recognize any ship design requirements regarding combat survivability (shock/stress) and redundancy (continuity of operations).
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)

mvanwink5
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by mvanwink5 »

And shielding... Based on Tri-alpha's commercial work on how many alphas are generated, they know what is needed for converting the alphas to power and are in the design phase for alpha power convertors. Polywell seems to be 5 years behind Tri-Alpha at this point for boron-11. I wonder if Tri-Alpha would work for D-D, or D-T? Polywell should (we believe).

General Fusion's Captain Nemo steam punk fusion engine has shielding built in. It also looks like a drop in replacement for thermal power systems. It would seem that General fusion might also work for ships as the diameter would only be 6 more feet than the mini-sphere test engine, and we have a picture of the mini-sphere, fully instrumented with sphere's heat blankets in place, I might add. So, except for subs, which is its own beast, the Navy has two strong contenders. No?
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

rj40
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Location: Southern USA

Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by rj40 »

I wonder if we shouldn't expand this site to include tri-alpha stuff? And maybe a few others.
Or, is there already a similar site for tr-alpha and general fusion?

ladajo
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Location: North East Coast

Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by ladajo »

Technically, around here it is known as "General".
But that is Theory.
In Practice, it all comes under news, and politics goes under General.
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)

rj40
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:31 am
Location: Southern USA

Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by rj40 »

Wasn't there a page that a had a bunch of Polywell summary links on this site? Links to the Bussard Google talk and all that? I was thinking that maybe having the same for Tri-alpha, and others, would be useful. I haven't found a single place that sums up all the tri-alpha stuff like that old polywell summary page did for Bussards stuff.

Old Internet meme:
In theory, reality is little different than theory, but in reality it is.

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

Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by mvanwink5 »

Well, clearly we are at the end of the current contract with having reached exactly the budgeted $11,855,504.14 expenditure (to the penny). It is very late to have started the WB-8.1 option as equipment needed to have been ordered six months ago. The only insight we officially have is some sole source budgetary words that indicates WB-8 scaling works, but that determination was 8 to 9 months ago and since then the rest of the money was dispensed to EMC2, leaving the cash drawer clean as a whistle. So either the option was awarded and is not showing up, with some bridge money for equipment ordering or the project is of low interest to the navy and on the slow path. Maybe there are enough issues to keep Polywell in the high risk category, which after all the diagnostics improvements and no project extension looks like a bad bet.

My guess is that what has been shown is that the project next step is big money WB-D, and either that money is coming out of a black hole with no gnome (us) insight or no one in the navy has the guts to ask for it. Maybe there is detailed budgetary engineering being done on WB-D and these guys are bullet proofing the package before asking for the big cash. Looks like this project needed an Elon Musk (or other similar force of nature) behind it and it doesn't have it. To this gnome it looks like the project is in the the category of red headed step child or Cinderella with no wand wielding God Mother.

So is Polywell stuck in the Navy's Phantom Zone?
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

mvanwink5
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by mvanwink5 »

And, what are the EMC2 guys doing, waiting on resumes to various universities to bear fruit, while the navy budget guys come back from lunch or sequesterville? Not good for a project with highly specialized workers. Starting to look like how things are run in post Soviet Russia, where the money is gone.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

paperburn1
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by paperburn1 »

Take it for what it is worth
Section 3119—Limitation on Availability of Funds for Inertial
Confinement Fusion Ignition and High Yield Campaign
This section would limit the obligation and expenditure of funds
for fusion ignition research and experiments to not more than 50
percent until the Administrator for Nuclear Security certifies to the
congressional defense committees that fusion ignition has been
achieved at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) or the Administrator submits a report on fusion ignition. This limitation would not apply to the Z-machine at Sandia National Laboratories or the Omega facility at the University of Rochester.
If the Administrator submits a report pursuant to this section,
the report would be required to include a thorough description of
the remaining technical challenges and gaps in understanding with
respect to ignition; a plan and schedule for reevaluating the ignition program and incorporating experimental data into computer models; the best judgment of the Administrator with respect to
whether ignition can be achieved at the NIF; and a description of
how, if funding being spent on ignition research were applied to life
extension programs, such programs could be accelerated or otherwise improved, and how this funding change would impact the stockpile stewardship program.
http://www.dtic.mil/congressional_budge ... rpt479.pdf

See page 532 and beyond
actual page number 500 to 503
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

mvanwink5
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by mvanwink5 »

paperburn1,
Thanks, though I think we have seen this (last year?). No, I think the program is not going to show up in this report as it has likely moved to Blackhole, Virginia, just outside of DC where most of the taxpayer's borrowed dollars go.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

paperburn1
Posts: 2466
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:53 am
Location: Third rock from the sun.

Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by paperburn1 »

Yep wrong link my bad, I wanted to show they duplicated the funding for next year as well.
not that that show polywell as main choice, just one of the Inertial Confinement Fusion Ideas is getting funding and support.
If you look at the 2014/2015 PDF you will see it.
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

mvanwink5
Posts: 1811
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by mvanwink5 »

paperburn1,
Thanks, also I believe the link you meant to post is this 2014 Budget. I think that program gets support because it always gets support (likely due to its main purpose related to our nuclear stock pile. Maybe I am wrong.

I tried searching the budget and my sub-amatuer effort does not come up with anything else on IEC fusion either. Frankly, I think the Polywell science project is either ready for the next step (WB-D) or the archives. If Polywell is getting funded, I suspect it is hidden in orders for upgrading all bases to $10k green composting toilets to save the planet in an earth friendly manner (supplied by a favored campaign contributor), or it is mothballed for the foreseeable future (perhaps waiting on Tri-Alpha to succeed or fail).
Best regards
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

eige1123
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:28 pm

Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by eige1123 »


paperburn1
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:53 am
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Re: Recovery.Gov Project Tracker

Post by paperburn1 »

I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

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