Implications for heavy construction?

If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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jsbiff
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Implications for heavy construction?

Postby jsbiff » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:23 pm

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe nowadays, most large, heavy construction equipment (cranes, bulldozers, those giant chainsaw-looking things that dig trenches, etc) are predominantly diesel powered, are they not?

I've thought a lot about how you move various types of energy consumption away from hydrocarbon fuel, and I'm wondering. . . is it reasonably conceivable that a Polywell reactor could be built which is installed on some kind of truck, and moved to construction sites, where it could power all-electric construction equipment?

In order for this to be a potential reality, you probably don't want to require every polywell reactor to require someone with a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering to operate it. Could a polywell reactor conceivably be designed which is largely automated, so someone with relatively limited training could hook it up and basically flip an on/off switch to operate it?

I believe the reason we don't currently use all-electric equipment is primarily that the grid just can't provide the huge amounts of power needed by such equipment? I'm not really sure about that, but there must be some reason Diesel is used for such applications, currently?

Or is it because electric motors just aren't good at providing extremely high torque/power or something (seeing as modern cargo trains all use electric motors, I think electric motors can produce lots of power/torque)?

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:48 pm

That is how some sites are already run. Quarries for example. It is common to have a generator in a semi trailer that powers most of the site (Rock Crusher, etc.).
I once got to work on a Gen set at such a sight where we had gone in and replaced the exciter, then watched them do a shot, then when we all went down to the qorking face in the quarry it looked like moon scape. awesome. When the shot went off, the firing dude said "oops". Then we said, "huh?", and he said, "you'll see...". Boy, we sure did. A rock the size of a VW came through the top of the generator trailer and cleaned off the entire exciter assembly that we had just repaired and continued on out the side or the trailer. The rock crusher rig looked like a giant had come in and twisted it all up like a toy he didn't like. One of the coolest things I have ever seen.
Switching over to generator mounted PW's would be a definate market. Portable industrial gen sets are pretty good money and pretty steady demand.

WizWom
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Postby WizWom » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:55 am

Polywells even using D-T will be fairly large. And they will be pretty much round or cubical, there being no sense to making the vacuum chamber have more volume than absolutely needed.

So, no, it's not going to fit in a 10' wide truck. It's going to be about 15' cube or sphere. Which, unfortunately, makes it unsuitable for our current roads and railways.
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jsbiff
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Postby jsbiff » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:38 am

WizWom wrote:Polywells even using D-T will be fairly large. And they will be pretty much round or cubical, there being no sense to making the vacuum chamber have more volume than absolutely needed.

So, no, it's not going to fit in a 10' wide truck. It's going to be about 15' cube or sphere. Which, unfortunately, makes it unsuitable for our current roads and railways.


Didn't realize a small power output generator (say 1000-2000 kW) would be that large.

Still, I have to wonder, even if they couldn't put it on the truck fully assembled, could they do something like have the reactor be able to be packed on a truck in a disassembled state, then perhaps assemble it on-site (I'm thinking if you can split the 15' wide sphere or cube in half for packing, then it's only about 8 foot wide). Maybe that wouldn't work though - I suppose that a reactor probably doesn't tolerate much contamination, and opening of the vaccuum chamber might introduce a lot of dust and moisture and stuff. Plus, it might be difficult to get a good seal on a chamber which is not all a single piece of cast metal?

Nik
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Draglines...

Postby Nik » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:01 pm

Aren't high-end drag-lines electric ? Most of those come in kit form, assembled from oversized modules on site. They'd be a good match for polywell...

kunkmiester
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Postby kunkmiester » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:06 pm

I've been told that even for large stuff, electrical power was abandoned in the 70s or 80s. Not sure why, but it has been discussed here. Big stuff like that would probably have its own polywell.

Power cables would probably be a problem for smaller, more mobile machines--you don't really want to be driving over them, and polywells are probably too big for most machines.

15 feet I believe is within the "oversize load" limit for highways. You wouldn't be running them around willy nilly, but for a project you'd want it, you could get it there.

A PLC should be plenty to run one, so while "flip a switch" is a bit simple, it's not a big issue.
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D Tibbets
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Postby D Tibbets » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:23 pm

WizWom wrote:Polywells even using D-T will be fairly large. And they will be pretty much round or cubical, there being no sense to making the vacuum chamber have more volume than absolutely needed.

So, no, it's not going to fit in a 10' wide truck. It's going to be about 15' cube or sphere. Which, unfortunately, makes it unsuitable for our current roads and railways.


Actually, Bussard liked the idea of eventually shrinking the size sufficiently to be carried (and power) a semi truck. It would be a P-B11 machine to avoid most of the radiation and to avoid a steam plant, though he admitterd doing so would need significant advances.

Dan Tibbets
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