WB-100 designs are being evaluated?

Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site. Get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts.

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

TallDave
Posts: 3114
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:12 pm
Contact:

WB-100 designs are being evaluated?

Post by TallDave »

Re-reading the last Cosmic Blog thread (yes, I really am that desperate for news) I noticed there is some talk indicating that the EMC2 team was already doing detailed reactor designs. I assume this was part of their mandate, which tends to argue WB-100 was being considered as a next step right from the start, if the results seemed to justify it, and that evaluating a WB-100 design was part of the project (as opposed to a more limited scope of just evaluating/validating Bussard's work).

Others have probably figured this out already, but it made me a little more hopeful this Tuesday morning.

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/ ... 36887.aspx
n*kBolt*Te = B**2/(2*mu0) and B^.25 loss scaling? Or not so much? Hopefully we'll know soon...

Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Billy Catringer »

Here's an interesting find. ARPA-E, founded in 2007.

http://science.house.gov/legislation/le ... ewsID=1235

Got $400 million placed into its hot little hands by the Stimulus Package:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/159541/u ... sions.html

It's too early to say what this may mean for Polywell, but it gives me faint glimmer of hope and a note of dread.

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

I'd like to see it at NASA rather than DOE.

http://ssl.mit.edu/research/Posters/FPP ... r_2006.pdf
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Billy Catringer »

Personally, I mistrust the government more than I do one of our local sellers of used cars. When dealing with one of them, I KNOW her or she is out to screw me which, means that I am dealing with a known factor. The same cannot be said of our governors. Confronted with this situation it is necessary treat with our governors as though they were sellers of used cars.

zbarlici
Posts: 247
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:23 am
Location: winnipeg, canada

Post by zbarlici »

... does DARPA operate under the DOE as well? I thought there was a concensus that the way DARPA operates is just not optimal at all so ARPA-E was formed separate from DARPA...

Well if ARPA-E is under the DARPA umbrella, then that just plain sucks and any money going that way might as well be burnt in a coal furnace.

IntLibber
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:28 pm

Post by IntLibber »

MSimon wrote:I'd like to see it at NASA rather than DOE.

http://ssl.mit.edu/research/Posters/FPP ... r_2006.pdf
With all due respect, Simon, the last place any such project should be is at NASA, which today defines the epitome of a dysfunctional government agency. DOE isnt much better, of course, but they do have a better history of getting the job done.

I'd have it under Navy control myself, let the navy be the early adopter of the technology and use the military budget to pay for the R&D to make it useful for the next generation of nuclear warships. Once accomplished, it can be mainstreamed for commercial use (and then NASA can be ordered to use it for propulsion and space power purposes).

NASA is culturally incapable of completing any project requiring more than a billion dollars and lasting more than one presidential administration in an on time and on budget manner.

kurt9
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:14 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Post by kurt9 »

As far as government funding goes, the Navy is infinitely preferable to either the DOE or NASA. Both the DOE and NASA are bureaucratic clusterf**ks. At least the Navy is driven to develop something actually useful as a shipboard system.

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

What about a 2 track program? The Navy for ship/land power and NASA for fusion powered rockets?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

KitemanSA
Posts: 6114
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:05 pm
Location: OlyPen WA

Post by KitemanSA »

MSimon wrote:What about a 2 track program? The Navy for ship/land power and NASA for fusion powered rockets?
Why not commercial? Without the interminable regulation and administrivia requirements of a military contract, the $200M might just be wittled down to a more manageable $40M, which may be attainable from an angel or two.

Helius
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:48 pm
Location: Syracuse, New York

The Holy Grail of Energy.

Post by Helius »

Polywell has the "holy grail" aspect working for it that any potential commercial Fission doesn't. Those behind the current energy paradigm may well get their friends at the NRC to impede great new Fission technologies like MSRs, but there would be hell to pay if they stood in the way of viable Fusion technologies. A company investing in Fusion technologies has a far lower probability to be stymied by regulation than one working in Fission despite that either or both can blow away the current energy paradigms, and would have those in current energy industries blowing off their resumes and out there "networking".

Polywell is a longer shot, but at least a venture capitalist can see past the NRC.

Jeff Peachman
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:47 pm

Post by Jeff Peachman »

Billy Catringer wrote:Personally, I mistrust the government more than I do one of our local sellers of used cars. When dealing with one of them, I KNOW her or she is out to screw me which, means that I am dealing with a known factor. The same cannot be said of our governors. Confronted with this situation it is necessary treat with our governors as though they were sellers of used cars.
IntLibber wrote:NASA is culturally incapable of completing any project requiring more than a billion dollars and lasting more than one presidential administration in an on time and on budget manner.
On that note, we had a speaker come to the University of Michigan to talk about the Hubble Space Telescope. He was the last project manager, hired a few years before it was launched.

One thing he said stuck out. "When you sell a new program to NASA, you always want to lowball your cost estimates and get it approved, then ask for more later after you spent what you got already. Because if you ask for it all upfront, those guys in congress will never foot the bill! Everything would seem too expensive! But this way, we can argue that if we don't get the additional funding, the first few billion would have gone to waste."

Nervous laughs go throughout the class and he dodges a few questions. Later, all my friends could talk about was how terrible and ingrained was this culture of intentionally lying to the American people.

Maybe if you estimated it right the first time, you would provide some incentive for cheaper designs or more efficient management and contracts.
- Jeff Peachman

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

KitemanSA wrote:
MSimon wrote:What about a 2 track program? The Navy for ship/land power and NASA for fusion powered rockets?
Why not commercial? Without the interminable regulation and administrivia requirements of a military contract, the $200M might just be wittled down to a more manageable $40M, which may be attainable from an angel or two.
I don't think it can be done for $40 million. Too many engineering unknowns.

I could possibly build WB-100 for $40 million. But I might need to do $100 to $200 mn of engineering research to bring it in at that cost.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

KitemanSA
Posts: 6114
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:05 pm
Location: OlyPen WA

Post by KitemanSA »

MSimon wrote: I could possibly build WB-100 for $40 million. But I might need to do $100 to $200 mn of engineering research to bring it in at that cost.
Well, maybe, but I think a simple growth of the original proposed WB7 (not the robustified WB6 we got and not SC, but cryo-copper) could easily be brought in for the $40KM price if placed near an approprite power source like the "Smart Matrix" that Beacon Power has developed. The job would demonstrate net power and then the commercial folk could do the engineering. That is what they are good for, they pay for engineering to turn this from a demonstrator to a commercial plant!

MSimon
Posts: 14331
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Contact:

Post by MSimon »

KitemanSA wrote:
MSimon wrote: I could possibly build WB-100 for $40 million. But I might need to do $100 to $200 mn of engineering research to bring it in at that cost.
Well, maybe, but I think a simple growth of the original proposed WB7 (not the robustified WB6 we got and not SC, but cryo-copper) could easily be brought in for the $40KM price if placed near an approprite power source like the "Smart Matrix" that Beacon Power has developed. The job would demonstrate net power and then the commercial folk could do the engineering. That is what they are good for, they pay for engineering to turn this from a demonstrator to a commercial plant!
The first continuous net power machine is going to cost around $40 mn for materials. I don't think cryo copper is going to cut it. At the 2m size (coils) you might as well go SC.

And 20 MW pulses on the grid are not a problem in most places that are reasonably close to a power plant. If you do them at night. Think Fermi Labs or Argonne. If start up can be done in 1 mS a capacitor bank should be good enough.

And yeah: once you show net power money will not be a problem.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

KitemanSA
Posts: 6114
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:05 pm
Location: OlyPen WA

Post by KitemanSA »

MSimon wrote: The first continuous net power machine is going to cost around $40 mn for materials. I don't think cryo copper is going to cut it. At the 2m size (coils) you might as well go SC.
The problem with SC is that you the pretty much HAVE to go professional with all it's attendant engineering costs. Lower tech means a broader volunteer base.

Post Reply