Oil prices at new highs

Discuss funding sources for polywell research, including the non-profit EMC2 Fusion Development Corporation, as well as any other relevant research efforts.

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TallDave
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Oil prices at new highs

Postby TallDave » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:37 pm

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/04/ ... Prices.php

This can only be good for Polywell funding. If Nebel and the EMC2 team have some positive results by the end of summer and it makes enough news to be even a minor campaign issue for the election, we could see a river of money flowing this way, maybe enough to have a few WB-100 projects going at once.

OK, I gotta stop, I'm drooling.

scareduck
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Postby scareduck » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:37 am

I thought this was the news section...

JohnP
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Postby JohnP » Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:07 am

At the risk of sounding paranoid, I read about how NiMH batteries, with patents held by a company controlled by Chevron, were simply not available for automotive use (hybrids or completely electric). Mfr's and researchers requesting small qty's of large-format batteries have been turned down flat.

If Polywell pans out, what's the chances of EMC2 being bought up lock stock & barrel by an Oilco IP company, to keep it off the market?

I know, I know, tinfoil hat stuff. So tell me I got nothing to worry about.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:05 am

JohnP wrote:At the risk of sounding paranoid, I read about how NiMH batteries, with patents held by a company controlled by Chevron, were simply not available for automotive use (hybrids or completely electric). Mfr's and researchers requesting small qty's of large-format batteries have been turned down flat.

If Polywell pans out, what's the chances of EMC2 being bought up lock stock & barrel by an Oilco IP company, to keep it off the market?

I know, I know, tinfoil hat stuff. So tell me I got nothing to worry about.


Lithium is better anyway. It has a wider temperature range.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
http://protonboron.com/
THE OPEN POLYWELL FUSION CONSORTIUM

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:08 am

Dave,

If WB-7 proves out there will be lots of money there. I have been saying that for 6 months. Her, Him, and the Navy Guy will all promise the moon to make it happen.

Didn't Him just say something about a Manhattan Project for energy? I thought he was sending us a signal. Of course I could be having a brain fever.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
http://protonboron.com/
THE OPEN POLYWELL FUSION CONSORTIUM

rnebel
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Postby rnebel » Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:33 pm

John P:

Your concern is something that EMC2 has thought about. The Polywell is what is generally described as a "disruptive technology". Namely, it is a technological surprise that changes everything. A lot of people have/are investing a lot of money in energy technologies. The Polywell is their worst nightmare. Consider for a moment who isn't going to like the Polywell:

1. The fusion people. They've already gone ballistic (but we're not going to go there).
2. The fission people. They're working on a "nuclear renaissance".
3. The solar people.
4. The wind people.
5. Big oil.
6. The gas and coal companies
7. The biofuels people.
8. A few of the environmentalists.

As you can see, we are pretty much an equal opportunity irritant. We are very well aware that any number of people would like to sit on this technology and keep it out of the market. This is one of the primary reasons that Dr. Bussard chose to have this project funded by the Navy rather than privately funded (where we probably would have had a much easier schedule). With the Navy contract, we retain the rights to the intellectual property for commercialization.

Dr. Bussards's desires for this technology were very clear: he wanted it developed and used by the public ASAP. We intend to honor those wishes.

Jccarlton
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Postby Jccarlton » Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:05 am

rnebel wrote:John P:

Your concern is something that EMC2 has thought about. The Polywell is what is generally described as a "disruptive technology". Namely, it is a technological surprise that changes everything. A lot of people have/are investing a lot of money in energy technologies. The Polywell is their worst nightmare. Consider for a moment who isn't going to like the Polywell:

1. The fusion people. They've already gone ballistic (but we're not going to go there).
2. The fission people. They're working on a "nuclear renaissance".
3. The solar people.
4. The wind people.
5. Big oil.
6. The gas and coal companies
7. The biofuels people.
8. A few of the environmentalists.

As you can see, we are pretty much an equal opportunity irritant. We are very well aware that any number of people would like to sit on this technology and keep it out of the market. This is one of the primary reasons that Dr. Bussard chose to have this project funded by the Navy rather than privately funded (where we probably would have had a much easier schedule). With the Navy contract, we retain the rights to the intellectual property for commercialization.

Dr. Bussards's desires for this technology were very clear: he wanted it developed and used by the public ASAP. We intend to honor those wishes.

In my opinion for the most part it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people. Most of these people won't hesitate to work for their own advantage over the interests of the rest of us and the ones that really matter will adapt and overcome. The steam engine wasn't completely replaced in all applications and the polywell will not displace everything either. It's more than likely that the polywell's first applications will be niche markets or things that use power about the same size as the reactor like a ship or mine that is far from electricity sources. While I would like to shut down every coal powered power plant in a week realistically that just isn't going to happen.

rj40
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Postby rj40 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:15 pm

From what I read, most of the folks at IBM didn’t really get the idea of the PC in 1979. But what if you could go back in time to the late 1970’s as a mid-level IBM executive? You know what is going to happen with Microsoft and Apple. What would you do? Try and stop it? Try and get IBM to compete? Start your own company to compete? Join Microsoft? It probably depends to a large extent on how old you were at the time.

If this concept really does work, I don’t think there will be too much trouble in getting people to see what it means. It would be as if everyone at IBM “got it” in 1979 with respect to the PC.

So, what do the entrenched interests (oil, tokamak fusion, fission, etc.) do with BFRs? I don't know, but I’ll bet many of their best jump ship to start their own companies to take advantage of this technology. When or if their old companies try to slow or stop BFRs, I think these former employees will be there to tell everyone what is really happening. And, as many here have already pointed out, I don’t think there will be a problem with funding.

In the meantime, in anticipation of this working, I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to scout out some likely candidate "demonstration" areas of society to power with BFRs? Sure, aluminum plants would tell the story, they take a lot of electricity. But maybe it would be good to target some other things; things that would be politically difficult to shut down. For example, a series of smaller BFRs providing power to poorer communities and housing developments as well as to non-profit hospitals. Poor folks always seem to be left to last on things; here is a chance where they would be first. Also, it would be harder to shut down those projects as compared to power for ALCOA.

rj40
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Postby rj40 » Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:31 pm

Oh, I almost forgot, the Navy gets this first, they are paying for it. And what ship should get this new technology? I would like to see the first operational use on the USS Cole (DDG 67). Sort of fitting.

TallDave
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Postby TallDave » Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:03 pm

The Polywell is what is generally described as a "disruptive technology". Namely, it is a technological surprise that changes everything.


I remember what disruptive tech did to the telco sector around the turn of the millennium. A lot of companies lost 90%+ of their value. Cost-per-bit-per-mile fell so dramatically even the huge demand growth in bandwidth from the ever-growing Internet couldn't keep a lot of carriers afloat.

Of course, all this was great for consumers. I worked with a guy from Brazil who talked to his family back home for hours every day, paying only his monthly ISP fee. It was only 5 years before a guy got kicked out of my dorm in college for running up a $500 phone bill in a month talking to his girlfriend in another state. A lot of people now have 29.95/month all-inclusive VOIP plans.

Energy is a bit less fungible than data transfer and the build-out time is longer, but it could be a very interesting few years for the energy sector if the Polywell concept pans out at an order of magnitude below current energy costs.

Tom Ligon
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Postby Tom Ligon » Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:37 pm

Dr. Bussard always figured Polywell fusion would be phased in as the existing power plants reached end of life, rather than all at once. If supply can keep up with demand on new plants, I might expect "end of life" would be accelerated by the owners of the old plant, but the smart money will replace plants about to be retired first, which are also the most likely to be inefficient and dirty.

One area of the Navy that is happy with what they've got for now is the subs. They're nuclear (fission) already, and they work just fine for now. Destroyers, OTOH, suck fuel like jetliners (and have very similar turbine engines). They are a logistical thorn in the Navy's side.

We used to have a Navy recruiting poster in the lab, a fanciful depiction of a very large hydrofoil blasting across the ocean and bristling with weapons. The Polywell might make it feasible.

Beyond that, I suspect the Navy, considered as a collection of individual sailors, has a vested interest in the Polywell because it might mean less fighting over oil.

drmike
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Postby drmike » Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:23 am

Here in Wisconsin we have several aging nuke plants. The power guys want to build new coal plants because the environmental hurdles of nukes are much higher, but the greens are starting to change their tune. I would expect that "end of life" for nuke plants is starting to happen across the US. If polywell works, it could be pretty darn good timing.

Disruptive technologies are never stopped. Somebody makes money. :D

I heard a story, and I don't know if it is true - could be urban legend, about IBM and the first computers. It goes something like - once IBM figured that Apple and Altair were selling these "personal computers" one of their marketing guys did a survey. One of the questions was "Who are the top personal computer makers in the world?" They listed several kits, Apple and IBM. IBM ranked 2nd, and they didn't make one! At that point they figured they'd better start.

Those who adapt survive. DEC is gone, IBM is still here. Let's hope Polywell works, it will make for a lot of interesting activity world wide!

Jccarlton
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Here's why the navy really wants polywell

Postby Jccarlton » Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:45 am

The keyword is Free Electron Laser.
http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/03/b ... d-str.html

The Navy has been concerned for some time with the growing number of surface skimming supersonic cruise missiles and the need to defend against them. These missiles speed and the very short time over the horizon make them very difficult to track and intercept. In order to meet this threat the Navy has for the last 12 years or so has been funding a FEL program at Jefferson Lab. But in order to run a laser like this you need a compact high density power, which as to fit on a destroyer size hull. Ergo the interest in the Polywell.
www.tjnaf.org/fel/

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:57 am

Jccarlton,

Your second url doesn't work.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
http://protonboron.com/
THE OPEN POLYWELL FUSION CONSORTIUM

Jccarlton
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Jefferson lab url

Postby Jccarlton » Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:43 am

Sorry,
I typed it in from memory of when I worked there and they changed it. Here's the right one:
http://www.jlab.org/FEL/


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