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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Skipjack wrote:
Due to a lack of polywell, I have been watching these guys more closely lately. I think that their openess is refreshing and they do have a product now, even though not the main one.
It is cool to watch them move foreward with a lot of build a little, test a little. Lerner seems like a nice fellow too.
I wished there was more info on Helion on John Slough. It has been very quiet arround them lately (other than the space propulsion concept thingy). I think that they have the highest chance of success of all players right now. Their approach seems very conservative and the physics are sound.


I'm more impressed with the Focus Fusion people as well. Eric Lerner seems to have good business sense. He is pursuing the secondary commercial applications for DPF because they have achieved the technical requirements for them already. This will make them into a profitable entity so that they are financially successful even if DPF does not work for commercial fusion power. It will also make them the money necessary to realize commercial fusion power if it is possible with their technology. If DPF does work for fusion, it will take considerable finance and 5 years or so to scale up to a commercial power plant. If they can finance more of this themselves, they can raise capital on more favorable terms.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:58 pm 
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Skipjack wrote:
I wished there was more info on Helion on John Slough. It has been very quiet arround them lately (other than the space propulsion concept thingy). I think that they have the highest chance of success of all players right now. Their approach seems very conservative and the physics are sound.

I don't know much about Helion, but I like their device, if for no other reason than that it reminds me of a warp core.

kurt9 wrote:
Eric Lerner seems to have good business sense. He is pursuing the secondary commercial applications for DPF because they have achieved the technical requirements for them already. This will make them into a profitable entity so that they are financially successful even if DPF does not work for commercial fusion power. It will also make them the money necessary to realize commercial fusion power if it is possible with their technology. If DPF does work for fusion, it will take considerable finance and 5 years or so to scale up to a commercial power plant. If they can finance more of this themselves, they can raise capital on more favorable terms.

I've had the same thought. If Q>1 doesn't happen soon, the little fusion startups will have to think about secondary applications if they want to stay afloat. And financial stability will hopefully allow them to make steady progress on their primary goal.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:29 pm 
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Skipjack wrote:
I wished there was more info on Helion on John Slough. ... Their approach seems very conservative and the physics are sound.
Really? Why do you say the physics is sound?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:36 pm 
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Because there is no new physics involved and the concept is proven to work. They do very conservative Tritium Deuterium fusion and no PB11 and it is a pusled device. Lots of shortcuts and compromises, but they will still get a q > 1 out of a machine that is comparably small and not that expensive to build.
Even Art Carlson was pretty convinced by their demonstration.
All they have to do is scale that bugger up.
They also consider a hybrid to burn nuclear waste and produce even more energy in the process.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:10 pm 
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Re Helion and similar approaches using the FRC it would appear that these designs have the great advantages of an inexpensive geometry and of being able to transport the plasma through the device as opposed to a stationary plasma. So the input/combustion/exhaust apparatuses can be separate as in any other internal combustion engine.

S


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:43 pm 
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Yepp I guess that is why they call it a "fusion engine" ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:02 pm 
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Skipjack wrote:
Because there is no new physics involved and the concept is proven to work.
Oh, really?!!? ... could you quote me some references, please...

Skipjack wrote:
Even Art Carlson was pretty convinced by their demonstration.
err.. I think you'll find that Art's interest was that FRC's work 'better than expected'...

..FRC's were expected to be really crap at confinement, so it's not saying much...


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:21 pm 
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http://www.helionenergy.com/Helion_Pres ... n-Web2.pdf


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:25 pm 
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http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtop ... ohn+slough

Art Carlson wrote:
I probed John as best I could, but I could find no obvious roadblocks. You at this forum know that spotting potential problems is my strong suit, and my expertise in FRCs should have helped me to do so in this case. Of course, it might just not work for any number of reasons, and John has no illusions about that. In short, this is one I have to stay on top of.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:50 am 
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John Slough et. al. have recently submitted an article, "Creation of a high-temperature plasma through merging and compression of supersonic field reversed configuration plasmoids", to Nuclear Fusion. I don't know enough about Slough's work to know if it contains anything that was not publicly known before. The article is free for 30 days from IOPscience. It can also be obtained here.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:49 am 
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They had an older design where a single FRC was compressed and then expanded and cooled in a very elegant direct energy conversion scheme, I guess they needed to go to the 2 opposing FRCs and had to abandon that design. Interesting that they are not including extra compression technology a la General Fusion or the FLX/Shiva Star experiments.

S


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:52 pm 
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There is some more info on NBF
http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/04/helion ... .html#more


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:45 pm 
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Can Slough's FRC breed Tritium in order to sustain the reaction?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:51 pm 
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Quote:
He is pursuing the secondary commercial applications for DPF because they have achieved the technical requirements for them already. This will make them into a profitable entity so that they are financially successful even if DPF does not work for commercial fusion power.


It's not a bad idea, it's certainly an easier play than economic fusion reactors. But I wouldn't invest, Lerner tends to overpromise. Heh, I wonder if their timeline still has them at net power last year?

Quote:
You at this forum know that spotting potential problems is my strong suit,


Heh. Yes, he was so good at it, he spotted all kinds of problems that don't even exist in non-LTE devices, much like what happened in his original FRC objections in Science Mag. Art's a bright guy, but like all of us a victim of context. Expert predictions of this sort have a very poor track record generally, so I expect outside of obvious and noncontroversial physical objections, only empiricism will decide a winner -- and the most likely outcome is that in 10 years we're still waiting for that checkered flag.

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Last edited by TallDave on Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:06 pm 
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TallDave wrote:
Expert predictions of of this sort have a very poor track record generally, so I expect outside of obvious and noncontroversial physical objections, only empiricism will decide a winner -- and the most likely outcome is that in 10 years we're still waiting for that checkered flag.


That, unfortunately, is also my sensation.
I wonder for how much time we can afford to keep moving that flag ahead....


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