A 100 GW D-T Plant

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

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MSimon
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A 100 GW D-T Plant

Postby MSimon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:24 am

Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Aero
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Postby Aero » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:30 am

BS it might be, but we should get a good handle on it from the presentations in about two weeks, Aug 30 - Sept. 3, 2010. What do we know about the symposium?

Related to the topic, what will be the use of a 100 GW power plant? I guess, for one, it could be used to desalinize a lot of water. How much? I've no idea, but fresh water can be piped for a long way to the end users.

It does sound expensive, does anyone have a handle on the cost of such a power plant? Or the cost of some of the main parts? What are the odds of creating a 100 GW polywell in the same time frame at a lower cost? I would speculate that if one is a thermal plant and the polywell can be made to be a direct conversion machine, then the thermal plant loses on cost.
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Enginerd
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Re: A 100 GW D-T Plant

Postby Enginerd » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:14 am

MSimon wrote:Looks like BS to me.


They expect their system to cost well over $20 billion and produce 100 GW by using a particle accelerator to shoot ions at lithium coated deuterium fuel pellets surrounded inside a molten metal neutron absorbing chamber. Making such a system produce some fusion might very well be feasible. They might conceivably be able to generate net positive power. But cost and size puts it into the same general practicality category as ITER. Even if they can make it work, nobody would be able to afford to buy their power...

http://www.fusionpowercorporation.com/1 ... mplex.html

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Postby StevePoling » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:31 am

100GW? That sounds a little big. I looked at the web page and it looks a little Pollyanna-esque. So, instead of using huge freakin' lasers to do inertial containment of DT fuel pellets, they use heavy ion beams. Since heavy ion beams aren't particularly new, there's been plenty of time for inertial containment boffins to think of this.

Anybody got any reasons not to be skeptical?

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Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:48 am

100 GW is probably thermal, not electric. 100 GW thermal is not that much larger than a fission plant if that is the case.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

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Postby MSimon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:48 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:100 GW is probably thermal, not electric. 100 GW thermal is not that much larger than a fission plant if that is the case.


Two points: yes it is thermal - about 30 to 35 GWe.

Fission plants are 3 GWth. 1 GWe. No one in the electrical industry is interested in a 35 GWe plant. Unless it could be brought in at 10 cents a watt or less. And even then the switch yard would be ginormous.

In any case the BOP for a 35 GWe plant is going to limit how low costs can go.

And they still have the T breeding problem. They claim a solution. I'm sceptical.

This is not a real deal. Just bait for rubes.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

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Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:52 pm

So, much for tracking decimals, slide rules are tricky.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Tom Ligon
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Postby Tom Ligon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:05 pm

When I wrote the original fusion article for Analog, I described Inertial Confinement Fusion as laser fusion. Dr. Bussard corrected me and said it could be either compression of a fuel pellet or capsule by lasers, or by ion beams. He followed all the alternatives pretty closely and knew ion beams would be pursued.

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Postby chrismb » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:22 pm

Tom Ligon wrote:Dr. Bussard corrected me and said it could be either compression of a fuel pellet or capsule by lasers, or by ion beams
...as per my list; http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtop ... 9359#19359

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Postby Aero » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:26 pm

Thanks Chrismb, with your list and Google, I found this tutorial.
http://hif.lbl.gov/tutorial/tutorial.html
Interesting. LBL projects costs at about 6 cents/kwh for a one GW heavy ion fusion power plant.

So how much sea water could be purified daily using the full output of a 100 GW power plant? Because, iirc, the value of the fresh water is greater than the value of the electricity to purify it once electricity gets in the 6 cent/kwh range.
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Postby Enginerd » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:07 pm

Aero wrote:So how much sea water could be purified daily using the full output of a 100 GW power plant? Because, iirc, the value of the fresh water is greater than the value of the electricity to purify it once electricity gets in the 6 cent/kwh range.


A modern reverse osmosis desalination plant, like the one being built outside Melbourne, costs AUD$4 billion to build, will cost an estimated AUD$132 million per year to operate, will consume an estimated 90 to 120 megawatts, and will produce an estimated 150 gigaliters of desalinated water per year. That is sufficient to supply around a third of Melbourne's annual water consumption. The plant is expected to emit around 200 million tonnes of brine to the ocean, increasing salinity in affected coastal areas.

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Postby Aero » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:28 am

Enginerd wrote:
Aero wrote:So how much sea water could be purified daily using the full output of a 100 GW power plant? Because, iirc, the value of the fresh water is greater than the value of the electricity to purify it once electricity gets in the 6 cent/kwh range.


A modern reverse osmosis desalination plant, like the one being built outside Melbourne, costs AUD$4 billion to build, will cost an estimated AUD$132 million per year to operate, will consume an estimated 90 to 120 megawatts, and will produce an estimated 150 gigaliters of desalinated water per year. That is sufficient to supply around a third of Melbourne's annual water consumption. The plant is expected to emit around 200 million tonnes of brine to the ocean, increasing salinity in affected coastal areas.

Thanks. Unfortunately I don't see how to get the number that I need. I need the sensitivity of the cost of fresh water to the cost of electricity. But that may not be the right number because if heat is cheap (and it will be) then distillation may be less expensive than RO.
I did find that 150 Gigaliters = 121,607 acre feet of fresh water and 200 million tons of brine =~ 0.045 cubic miles or about 0.2 cubic km of brine. And that should be an annual figure, given the proper ratio of brine to fresh water from reverse osmosis. Anyway, the cost of the fresh water will be the cost of debt service plus operating cost but how much of the operating cost is electricity cost and what is the electric rate? I don't know.

One thing I do know, 100 GW of power is a lot, and will produce a lot of fresh water. In your example, 1 GW of power would correspond to a water plant 10 times larger, enough to supply Melbourne 3 times over. Then, using 30% efficiency of electric generation, a 100 GW (th) plant would provide enough water for 100 Melbournes. How big a plant is needed for all of AU?
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Postby MSimon » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:03 am

Let us figure BOP at 80 cents a watt electrical. So $20 to $25 billion is about right for the BOP. That assumes capital costs of the fusion plant down in the noise.

I don't believe it.

In any case the fusion stuff including T generation is not operational. So it is all theoretical.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Aero
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Postby Aero » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:15 am

MSimon wrote:Let us figure BOP at 80 cents a watt electrical. So $20 to $25 billion is about right for the BOP. That assumes capital costs of the fusion plant down in the noise.

I don't believe it.

In any case the fusion stuff including T generation is not operational. So it is all theoretical.


I think one of the linked papers gave the capital cost of the fusion plant at $20B. That makes $45B once the BOP is paid for. So, assuming for the moment that it might work, don't we still have the question of "Why?" Why spend all of that money for a single plant that is so large as to be mostly useless? Its kind of the same problem as the tokamak with the electricity a little less costly. Just to much of it in one place.

Sure, you could do something like convert sea water to fresh in California, pump the water across the great divide, convert the water energy back to electricity using hydroelectric as it falls down to the Colorado river, then pump the water to irrigate the rest of the desert. Sure, that could be done, but now you're talking real money!
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Postby jsbiff » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:29 pm

Enginerd wrote:
Aero wrote:So how much sea water could be purified daily using the full output of a 100 GW power plant? Because, iirc, the value of the fresh water is greater than the value of the electricity to purify it once electricity gets in the 6 cent/kwh range.


A modern reverse osmosis desalination plant, like the one being built outside Melbourne, costs AUD$4 billion to build, will cost an estimated AUD$132 million per year to operate, will consume an estimated 90 to 120 megawatts, and will produce an estimated 150 gigaliters of desalinated water per year.


This might be getting a little off-topic, but. . .

We know that there are large losses in converting thermal energy to electrical (someone above gave a figure of 30-35GWe output from 100GWth input).

So, if you are using a thermal fusion reaction, wouldn't it make more sense to design a thermal desalination plant (steam or some related process) built around a thermal fusion generator, and use the thermal energy *directly* instead of converting it to electricity first? Or are the thermal desalinization processes so inefficient that it still makes more sense to convert to electric first? Or is it a wash - about the same either way?

Has anyone ever designed a steam electric plant which takes seawater as input, desalinates it when it converts it to pressurized steam to run the electric turbines, then captures and cools the desalinized steam for input into the fresh water supply? Get electricity and fresh water in one step, increasing effective efficiency (pay once, get two billable products)?


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