EMC2 news

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

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ladajo
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby ladajo » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:47 pm

Ok, so what exactly does the Electric Power Reasearch Institute have to do with this?


Well, part of my point regarding how you look at things. I will let you figure it out as an exercise for the reader.

they all have had careers outside of MSNW LLC


You need to clarify what you mean as "career" and then put it into a proportional relationship regarding plasma fusion experience not gained at MSNW or Helion, of which both Slough and Kirtley remain publicly active members.

John Slough is not the CEO of Helion


Are you implying that John Slough is NOT calling the shots at Helion? If so I would find that greatly amusing. It is not about titles, it is about roles.

It can be serviced very easily.


Very hard to service something that has become highly neutron activated. Such that in many existing plants, some components are designed NOT to be serviced for exactly that reason. If you had any experience, for example, in the removal and management of primary system components; especially those in close proximity to neutron generation, you would understand this better. D+T is going to be drama for service. Navy and civilian plant designs are highly dependent on this issue, and it is one of the reasons that basic plant designs have stayed close to the original robust and simple 1950s concepts they are based on. Safety, service, sustainment. This is also a materials issue.

My point on materials is exactly that. IT IS THE MAIN ISSUE. Not can we do it. We can do it. How is in the air, well except ITER, but the materials side for an economically viable and sustainable plant has not even really been considered. Personally, I don't want to have any part of the ITER teardown. What a mess that is going to be.

I would suggest that you maybe try talking to David Kirtley or John Slough for a bit. They are very nice and approachable people, unless you come over like a total arrogant ass when talking to them.


Slough has a rep. that apparently you are unaware of. Not surprising I guess. Your arrogance prevents you from understanding that other folks may see someone differently than you do. As I said, I am not trying to change your mind, just suggesting that you can use better frameworks and do a better job of collecting relevant data to analyze than it appears that you have. Bottom line, be more open minded, and more critical. Just because someone gives you an ice-cream doesn't mean that they are not evil. Appearances do not typically represent actual reality, just an interpretation there of. Chatting with someone at a conference once or swapping an email is not enough to use as a gage.
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: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:23 pm

ladajo wrote:
Ok, so what exactly does the Electric Power Reasearch Institute have to do with this?


Well, part of my point regarding how you look at things. I will let you figure it out as an exercise for the reader.

Well you should do some homework as well...

ladajo wrote:You need to clarify what you mean as "career" and then put it into a proportional relationship regarding plasma fusion experience not gained at MSNW or Helion, of which both Slough and Kirtley remain publicly active members.

In contrast to you, I am willing to give you the courtesy of helping you out a little bit. Taking Kirtley for instance who was working at the Airforce Research laboratory for 7 years prior to joining MSNW.
And John Slough was working at STI Optronics for 12 years leaving after having risen to principal scientist.
I think that 7 and 12 years do count as "careers".

ladajo wrote:Are you implying that John Slough is NOT calling the shots at Helion? If so I would find that greatly amusing. It is not about titles, it is about roles.

John Slough invented the technology. He is the chief scientist. David Kirtley is the CEO and he is definitely the front man handling the business side of things. John Slough is still involved, of course. It is his baby. However, he is working as a professor at the UW and he is working at MSNW LLC and Helion faces mostly engineering problems now.

ladajo wrote:Very hard to service something that has become highly neutron activated. Such that in many existing plants, some components are designed NOT to be serviced for exactly that reason. If you had any experience, for example, in the removal and management of primary system components; especially those in close proximity to neutron generation, you would understand this better. D+T is going to be drama for service. Navy and civilian plant designs are highly dependent on this issue, and it is one of the reasons that basic plant designs have stayed close to the original robust and simple 1950s concepts they are based on. Safety, service, sustainment. This is also a materials issue.

Ok, I should have maybe said very easily compared to other D+T reactors like Tokamaks and also the Polywell or TAEs (IIRC, they might do a D+T reactor in the first generation, unless they changed their plans again)

ladajo wrote:My point on materials is exactly that. IT IS THE MAIN ISSUE. Not can we do it. We can do it. How is in the air, well except ITER, but the materials side for an economically viable and sustainable plant has not even really been considered. Personally, I don't want to have any part of the ITER teardown. What a mess that is going to be.

I agree with you on that one. We will see how that will go at JET after their upcoming break even D+T experiments. The good thing is that many of the material science lessons learned at ITER and JET will be applicable to other reactor designs. Helions design has the advantages that I mentioned earlier and no matter how you look at it, those make a difference compared to the other designs.

ladajo wrote:Slough has a rep. that apparently you are unaware of.

You know what reputation is? It is people talking, gossip. Unless you can bring some actual facts, it is just that. Gossip.

ladajo wrote:Not surprising I guess. Your arrogance prevents you from understanding that other folks may see someone differently than you do. As I said, I am not trying to change your mind, just suggesting that you can use better frameworks and do a better job of collecting relevant data to analyze than it appears that you have. Bottom line, be more open minded, and more critical. Just because someone gives you an ice-cream doesn't mean that they are not evil. Appearances do not typically represent actual reality, just an interpretation there of. Chatting with someone at a conference once or swapping an email is not enough to use as a gage.

Again, you have not answered my earlier question: What do you base your opinion on?
You obviously can not imagine that someone could know something that you don't...
Last edited by Skipjack on Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mvanwink5
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:25 pm

Not an engineer, lawyer?
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:29 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:Yes, pB11 is TA, so take it from there. Helion has a whole processing back end to develop, and Helion may well have to develop neutral beam injection, which takes time. And the end point is really commercial.

Why would Helion have to develop neutral beam injection? They do not need to contain the plasma in a steady state like TAE does. All they need is to confine the plasma for a couple of ms, which has already been demonstrated without NBI.
Last edited by Skipjack on Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:29 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:Not an engineer, lawyer?

I don't get the question.

mvanwink5
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:13 pm

All they need is to contain the plasma for a couple of ms
Answers that question. :roll:
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:17 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:
All they need is to contain the plasma for a couple of ms
Answers that question. :roll:

They have already done that... Just saying.
And in case you were implying that I was a lawyer, I am software engineer.
The person sounding like a lawyer was ladajo. Character assassinations and no hard science. That's how lawyers talk.
Last edited by Skipjack on Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

D Tibbets
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby D Tibbets » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:19 pm

Skipjack wrote:
mvanwink5 wrote:Yes, pB11 is TA, so take it from there. Helion has a whole processing back end to develop, and Helion may well have to develop neutral beam injection, which takes time. And the end point is really commercial.

Why would Helion have to develop neutral beam injection? They do not need to contain the plasma in a steady state like TAE does. All they need is to contain the plasma for a couple of ms, which has already been demonstrated without NBI.


A few milliseconds is a long time for a plasma, especially a dense plasma relative to ITER. Colllisions and Bremsstruhlung proceed much faster. The collisions are of course needed for fusion to occur. The Bremsstruhlung radiative losses go up exponentially with Z, and density (I think). Even with good particle containment, the plasma will quickly cool. The two ways I know of to maintain the plasma temperature against the radiative losses is microwave energy input or energetic neutral beam input. The Polywell may avoid at least some of the neutral beam/ supplemental heating requirements as it continuously injects energetic electrons. This is one half of a neutral beam if you will- or rather a full neutral beam as charge balance must be maintained within narrow margins (also considering the relative confinement time of the two populations), the difference in the Polywell is that the ions are injected at low energy while the electrons are injected at corresponding high energy. As far as heating, the end result is similar. . I don't know how a FRC could maintain plasma temperature, even past a few microseconds, without supplemental heating. I suppose you could involk ignition, but that precludes direct conversion, and introduces contaminate issues, the alphas once they have thermalized with the fuel ions do not contribute further, but they do dilute the plasma, and promote Bremsstruhlung losses. Everything seems to be a a compromise between competing processes. A solution, if anyone can find one, will be complex and multifaceted. Particle containment, waste extraction, and replacement of radiative losses all have to be accounted for.

PS: Waste extraction may be a challenge for FRC, diverter challenges may be similar to that of Tokamaks. Even a pulsed machine has to have containment sufficient for fuel burnup , so contaminate issues are not absent. How it compares to continously running plasma machines depends at least partially of what a pulse means. If all of the physics happens within the pulse period, then in some ways it can be considered steady state. Bussard certainly considered this pertinent when he ran his experiments. Note that the Polywell being a cusp machine has a built in method for waste extraction. The tradeoff is that heating by the fusion products cannot be utilized. Compromises again.

PS #2: Attack the reasoning or sources as much as you like, but personal attacks always weakens you position in my opinion.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

mvanwink5
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:30 pm

My cousin is a lawyer, smart guy, ms is very short time for him though. The hubris was too thick but you are a saint to oversee it.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:55 pm

D Tibbets wrote:A few milliseconds is a long time for a plasma, especially a dense plasma relative to ITER.

First, thanks for actually contributing factual arguments to the discussion instead of gossip.
I suggest you check our their publications. IIRC, they already demonstrated more than 3 ms confinement with IPA, which is more than they need.
Their previous experiments demonstrated 100% of the confinement time and plasma density needed for D+He3.

D Tibbets wrote:Colllisions and Bremsstruhlung proceed much faster. The collisions are of course needed for fusion to occur. The Bremsstruhlung radiative losses go up exponentially with Z, and density (I think). Even with good particle containment, the plasma will quickly cool. The two ways I know of to maintain the plasma temperature against the radiative losses is microwave energy input or energetic neutral beam input. The Polywell may avoid at least some of the neutral beam/ supplemental heating requirements as it continuously injects energetic electrons. This is one half of a neutral beam if you will- or rather a full neutral beam as charge balance must be maintained within narrow margins (also considering the relative confinement time of the two populations), the difference in the Polywell is that the ions are injected at low energy while the electrons are injected at corresponding high energy. As far as heating, the end result is similar. I don't know how a FRC could maintain plasma temperature, even past a few microseconds, without supplemental heating.

They demonstrated 5keV with their IPA HF device. That is 16% of the 35 keV they need. I would call that "close". They are confident that they can get the rest with the bigger reactor.

D Tibbets wrote:Everything seems to be a a compromise between competing processes. A solution, if anyone can find one, will be complex and multifaceted. Particle containment, waste extraction, and replacement of radiative losses all have to be accounted for.

The pulsed nature of their reactor helps as does a good fuel mixture ratio of D+He3. One waste product of D+D is He3 which again acts as fuel. One D+D branch results in a Tritium atom. They are planning on optimizing the pulse length to avoid too many D+T side reactions.
They are keeping the exact pulse lengths and isotope separation under wraps until it has been published. So I cant say more about that.
Either way, I am not saying that they wont face significant challenges before they have an economic reactor ready to be deployed. I am saying that IMHO they have a good shot at being the first to get there in terms of funding and progress that they have made so far. EMC2 needs a lot of money they don't have and they have just as many if not more challenges to overcome.
TAE is much more ambitious which is slowing them down, otherwise they would be looking really good, especially in terms of funding.

D Tibbets wrote:PS #2: Attack the reasoning or sources as much as you like, but personal attacks always weakens you position in my opinion.
Dan Tibbets

Tell that to ladajo as well, please. I am trying to use facts as much as possible. I have yet to see an actual engineering/physics argument from him. All I see is assassinations of my character and the character of Helion team members.
Last edited by Skipjack on Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:57 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:My cousin is a lawyer, smart guy, ms is very short time for him though.

It is short compared to the times that Tri Alpha needs and aims for, which was the point I was trying to make. TAE's next device will have confinement measured in seconds and they want to go towards minutes, IIRC.
Time is relative ;)

mvanwink5
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:53 pm

The second and most difficult issue with the plasma is stability with compression, and scaling will push both issues. Tri Alpha's success is far greater than you have grasped (in all respects, keep digging) and the tricks used are not simple. So, have some respect for the plasma devil. :twisted:
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Skipjack
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby Skipjack » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:00 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:The second and most difficult issue with the plasma is stability with compression, and scaling will push both issues.

I agree with that, they do have a pretty good idea how well their design scales based on past experiments.

mvanwink5 wrote:Tri Alpha's success is far greater than you have grasped (in all respects, keep digging) and the tricks used are not simple. So, have some respect for the plasma devil. :twisted:

Did I ever say anything to the contrary? I don't get why you have the assumption that I am not appreciating what Tri Alpha is doing. I think they are amazing! Did you read any of my posts?

ladajo
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby ladajo » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:49 pm

Skip,
First and foremost, I am not going to put any inside knowledge I have on the table in a public forum. If you haven't figured that out over these last years, I can't help you there.
Second, I do have knowledge that I don't share here. It is called integrity that I do not do it.
Third, I have made many factual science statements that you have consistently ignored. You are more focused on trying to argue with me. As I give you string, you pull it more in a seeming attempt to get enough to hang yourself.

Are you or have employed by John Slough or Helion? Have you been directly involved with the work they are doing? Have you at least been in the lab and talked serious science with the PI?
If not, then you really don't know what is going on. If so, feel free to claim NDA. Personally, I don't publicly declare NDAs. I find it unnecessary. I just keep my mouth shut.

As for your assertions that I am "character assassinating" Slough, I am not. I am only pointing out that you should seek more depth in your understanding of who / what he is. I say this because I DO know first hand that others of equal or greater stature do not see him the way that you do. It does not mean that I subscribe to it, it simply means that I grant it consideration. Two completely different things that apparently you can't separate. I personally have not spoken or interacted directly with any of the core Helion team. So I am not sure what the real story is. However, time will tell, and yes I am probably more skeptical than you on Helion. My opinion is simply that it may not be as shiny as it is being polished to be. Again, time will tell.

Kirtley for instance who was working at the Airforce Research laboratory for 7 years prior to joining MSNW.
And John Slough was working at STI Optronics for 12 years leaving after having risen to principal scientist.


You have missed the point. Slough is a high density plasma guy. What I have been asking you is who are the other high end plasma guys? Why are there not any?
Kirtley is not a high density plasma guy, he is a plasma jet guy, and did not spend that long doing it. He is not considered a top tier plasma scientist in the community.
He may well get there, but he is still too junior.
So again, if Slough is at the front of the argument for succeeding in compact plasma based fusion, why is there not another top tier guy on his team? One would think that folks would be lining up. These guys do talk to each other all the time, and they do know who is doing what and how. There is an completely formed and functioning layer under these public marketing displays that you are apparently unaware of where the senior folks in the community are constantly having interaction. You can almost call it the unofficial "Plasma Fusion Science Board". And yes, I do know and talk to folks in that circle.
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)

D Tibbets
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Re: EMC2 news

Postby D Tibbets » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:47 pm

Some personal integrity attacks on both sides, and a brief rant by me. Please do not let this thread degrade into a personality based arguement. I admit that in some cases the messanger can be disregarded, but the threshold should be high. Rossi certainly meets this threshold (nuff said). Others have been attacked with much less public insight . Art Carlson once tried to label Eric Learner's work as bad science. He eventually abandoned the effort for what ever reason. LLP has since demonstrated significant results and insights. That does not mean his efforts will suceed from a physics standpoint or engineering standpoint, but it is promising.

Back to relevant (I hope) arguments. 35 KeV seems low, for D-He3, I would expect target temperatures closer to ~ 80 KeV. 35 KeV would be good for D-T, poor for D-D, but bordering on dismal for D-He3 (based on viewing cross section grafts and corresponding Bremsstruhlung rates. Bussard pointed out in one paper that about 5 KeV was the absolute minimum for D-T fusion output yield to exceed Bremsstruhlung losses, even with assumed perfect particle confinement. Other fuels have higher minimal (and for that matter maximum) temperatures for the window where fusion output can exceed Bremsstruhlung losses.

Interestingly, diluting the high Z component of the fuel may help in the fusion to Bremsstruhlung ratio. This may be applied to P-B11 fusion (more protons). D-He3 fuel though has competing problems. To suppress D-D side reactions (that produce neutrons) the higher Z He3 is maintained in excess. This would increase the Bremsstruhlung loss ratio. A Z of 2 is better than a Z of 5 but still...

A few milliseconds of confinement time being adiquate, especially for the ion population which I assume has loss rates similar to the electrons in FRC machines, implies that the density (especially without some type of spherical confluence that is at least possible with Polywells)) is higher. With the Polywell density advertised as ~ 10^22/ cubic meter, ion confinement times of at least 20 ms is needed, perhaps 100's of milliseconds. Admittedly, in the Polywell the losses (ignoring the Bremsstruhlung issues)are dominated by the electron losses, which may remain in the low millisecond time frame. How the balance between the FRC and Polywell plays out is uncertain from a density versus confinement time interaction. In any case with a few millisecond confinement time the density has to be high , probably above 10^22/ M^3 for useful amounts of fusion to occur in these small machines. Both triple product considerations and practical power output considerations are important. This is one of the major problems with the classical Tokamak. It can possibly produce large amounts of fusion power but at the cost of nearly as large amounts of losses and huge cost for each unit of excess power, and associated problems of trying to distribute the concentrated node power, not to mention the intermittent nature of any approach- there will always be down time for various reasons. Another plant would have to take up the slack. For smaller, cheaper machines like Polywell, FRC- pulsed or steady state, DPF, and probably several other potential approaches are much more manageable. A down machine represents a smaller bite in the necessary load demands.

The comment about persueing D-T as an admission of inferiority is an uncertain assessment. Dr Parks has advertised this as the next goal towards demonstrating excess power in a Polywell. It is certainly easier, but I wonder how much of it is based on this assessment or the need to match the prejudices of the audience. The entrenched Tokamak mindset conceives of D-T being the only possible fuel, asking for support for other approaches diminishes the legitimacy of the project in some eyes. This is one reason FRC languished for over a decade; perception, not hard evidence (experiment) dominated the funding decisions. It appears that the perception that high Beta may be good but was unobtainable lead to the abandonment of some cusp machine approaches. Bussards, Parks, etels efforts to do this and Park' success in firmly demonstrating this are game changers. FRC advances, and perhaps DPF advances, despite mainstream disdain is similar. Which approach, none, one or several works is yet to be determined. All are relatively cheap in comparison, and all offer the potential to be much cheaper to implement if they work for actual electricity production.
The engineering and application issues may end up being the deciding factor. For aneutronic fusion the Polywell has some tricks that may benefit it. I don't know how the FRC handles these issues (as well). Spherical convergence, and energy distribution of electrons associated with an electrostatic potential well are significant advantages. Could some of these electrostatic considerations be applied to FRC?

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.


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