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THE Nuclear Fusion Thread Pt. 2(merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Wed 13 Mar 2013, 22:10:01

I'm failry certain that they have picked up on the MIT Levitated Dipole design which is 1000 times simpler than a tokamak. Also, the Lockheed video mentions D-D fusion. This could be the real deal in a 5 year time frame.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levitated_dipole
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby Quinny » Thu 14 Mar 2013, 02:13:20

Maybe they buy Rossi out or at least get hom to work for them :roll:
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby TheAntiDoomer » Thu 14 Mar 2013, 09:19:38

PrestonSturges wrote:I'm failry certain that they have picked up on the MIT Levitated Dipole design which is 1000 times simpler than a tokamak. Also, the Lockheed video mentions D-D fusion. This could be the real deal in a 5 year time frame.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levitated_dipole


Thanks Preston, good post.
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Thu 14 Mar 2013, 11:48:53

The other tip-off is the small size. The magnetic core of the MIT reactor was about the size of tractor tire (weighing something like 13 tons). Which is tiny compared to most projects, but more plausible than the fringe fusion-in-a-teacup claims.

I also fits with time frame of the MIT reactor losing its DOE funding and looking for new sources of money. it's a no brainer for a big company to pick this up and potentially own the discovery of the century, but it's a question of culture. If Exxon bought it, they would have dumped into the deepest part of the ocean and burned the notes.
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby ian807 » Thu 14 Mar 2013, 14:52:43

PrestonSturges wrote:If Exxon bought it, they would have dumped into the deepest part of the ocean and burned the notes.
Nope. If Exxon bought it, they would have started manufacturing and distribution tomorrow, phasing the whole thing in gradually so they could dump their physical assets with minimal loss. They make money on energy. They don't give a rat's patoot about how they get the energy as long as the money continues to flow. The owner of that patent would manage to keep their stock price and cashflows up with little problem.

Of course, there's still that little problem of how electricity isn't a substitute yet because no affordable battery yet reaches the energy density of petroleum fuels by volume, but hopefully, that's a solvable problem.
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 14 Mar 2013, 15:56:51

PrestonSturges wrote:I'm failry certain that they have picked up on the MIT Levitated Dipole design which is 1000 times simpler than a tokamak. Also, the Lockheed video mentions D-D fusion. This could be the real deal in a 5 year time frame.
Thanks Preston! And here I though tokamak and ICF where the only 2 viable fusion technologies with potential. Levitated diploe sounds very interesting and solves some issues that tokamak was struggeling with like neutron contamination and plasma leakage damaging the reactor. So naturally I was curious why it was not being pursued more vigorously if it has such advantages. From what I can tell from briefly looking into this, it sounds like they need better magnets to get this working.

However, tritium-suppressed fusion in general and the levitated dipole fusion concept in particular require the development of high-field, highstrength, and high-temperature superconductors that exceed the performance of today’s Nb3Sn superconductors.

We believe the proposal for tritium-suppressed D-D fusion and the recently discovered favorable confinement and stability properties of the magnetically-levitated dipole are new developments in fusion science that create an alternate and potentially advantageous technology pathway for fusion. Although tritium-suppressed D-D fusion requires the development of high-field superconductors that exceed the performance of today’s magnets, credible magnet technologies exist (like YBCO conductors supported with carbon-nanotube composite materials) that may meet these challenging requirements.
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 14 Mar 2013, 16:05:28

ian807 wrote:Of course, there's still that little problem of how electricity isn't a substitute yet because no affordable battery yet reaches the energy density of petroleum fuels by volume, but hopefully, that's a solvable problem.
No, it's not. Energy storage will of course continue to improve with increasing energy densities, better affordability, etc. But there are theoretical maximums of energy density for batteries. And this theoretical maximum is much lower than that of fossil fuels. Theoretically flywheels might be able to equal or even exceed the energy density of fossil fuels. But safety reasons and engineering challenges will probably preclude that possibility from ever being realized.

1 kilogram of crude oil contains nearly 50 mega-joules of chemical potential energy. The energy densities of natural gas and coal, around 55 mega-joules per kilogram and 20-35 mega-joules per kilogram respectively, are similar to those of crude oil.

We can, however, use thermodynamics to calculate the upper limits of what's possible for a variety of technologies. And when we do this, we find that many technologies will never compete with fossil carbon on energy density.

Let's start with batteries. Today's lead acid batteries can store about 0.1 mega-joules per kilogram, or about 500 times less than crude oil. Those batteries, of course, could be improved, but any battery based on the standard lead-oxide/sulfuric acid chemistry is limited by foundational thermodynamics to less than 0.7 mega-joules per kilogram.

Due to the theoretical limits of lead-acid batteries, there has been serious work on other approaches such as lithium-ion batteries, which usually involve the oxidation and reduction of carbon and a transition metal such as cobalt. These batteries have already improved upon the energy density of lead-acid batteries by a factor of about 6 to around 0.5 mega-joules per kilogram--a great improvement. But as currently designed, they have a theoretical energy density limit of about 2 mega-joules per kilogram. And if research regarding the substitution of silicon for carbon in the anodes is realized in a practical way, then the theoretical limit on lithium-ion batteries might break 3 mega-joules per kilogram. Therefore, the maximum theoretical potential of advanced lithium-ion batteries that haven't been demonstrated to work yet is still only about 6 percent of crude oil!

So the best batteries are currently getting 10 percent of a physical upper bound and 25 percent of a demonstrated bound. And given other required materials such as electrolytes, separators, current collectors, and packaging, we're unlikely to improve the energy density by more than about a factor of 2 within about 20 years. This means hydrocarbons--including both fossil carbon and biofuels--are still a factor of 10 better than the physical upper bound, and they're likely to be 25 times better than lithium batteries will ever be.

What about storing energy in electric fields (i.e., capacitors) or magnetic fields (i.e., superconductors)? While the best capacitors today store 20 times less energy than an equal mass of lithium-ion batteries. Electromagnets of high-temperature superconductors could in theory reach about 4 mega-joules per liter similar to our theoretical batteries given a reasonable density; existing magnetic energy storage systems top out around 0.01 mega-joules per kilogram, about equal to existing capacitors. Here again, both the realized technology and its ultimate physical potential are far behind the energy density of common hydrocarbon fuels.

There is one more energy-storage approach that theoretically beats hydrocarbons. Energy density comparable to lithium-ion batteries has been demonstrated with flywheels, and a theoretical device composed solely of toroidal carbon nanotubes could reach 100 mega-joules per kilogram. But the fabrication and safety challenges inherent in such a device render it unlikely that even a small fraction of this potential will ever be realized.

The bottom line is that nature has given us hydrocarbons in the form of fossil carbon and biomass, and their energy-mass and energy-volume densities are superior to the thermodynamic limits of nearly all conceivable alternatives. Thus, it's quite likely that hydrocarbons of one form or another will be humanity's primary energy storage medium for quite a long time.
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Thu 14 Mar 2013, 16:18:48

I think that if electric vehicles really catch on, we'd see some sort of heliostat connector like those used by trolleys, electric buses, and trains. And there would be power lines at the base of long uphill climbs on the interstate, so the car would actually be charging on the way up the hill.
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 14 Mar 2013, 16:50:43

Good point about trolleys, that's certainly doable. I could have worded my post better. I just wanted to say that batteries will never be able to achieve the energy densities of fossil fuels. Not that the problem was unsolvable. Besides trolleys, there are other facts to consider. Such as the much higher efficiency of electric motors compared to fossil fuels(over 5x as efficient), so they don't need to store as much energy. And the fact the EVs can use regenerative braking to recharge the batteries, a trick ICEs can't pull off.

Electric vehicles are very energy efficient. For every 100 units of fuel that are expended in an ICE vehicle, only 16 actually result in propulsion. An electric vehicle, however, will use almost 85 units out of 100 for driving the vehicle.

Electric vehicles have another significant advantage over ICE vehicles: regenerative braking. When an electric vehicle is slowing down, the motor becomes a generator and provides energy to the batteries.
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby dissident » Fri 15 Mar 2013, 08:17:14

The Levitated Dipole Experiment was funded by the United States Department of Energy's Office of Fusion Energy, but funding for the LDX and other alternative fusion projects was ended in November 2011 to concentrate funding on tokamak approaches. MIT and Columbia are attempting to find other funding sources.


This basically kills off the optimism thrown around on web boards such as this by amateurs. This concept was reviewed by professionals and found wanting. If it was such a great concept with so much potential then it would have been funded for further research. At the end of the day it is a magnetically confined plasma concept and a variation on the tokomak theme. It is not going to be immune from the plasma instabilities that are the main hindrance in tokomak development.

Unlike other types of magnetically confined fusion, the Levitated Dipole is designed to be robust to external fluctuations in electric/magnetic fields. In most laboratory plasmas, small fluctuations can cause significant energy loss; however in a dipolar magnetic field, fluctations tend to actually compress the plasma without energy loss. This compression effect was first noticed by Akira Hasegawa (of the Hasegawa-Mima equation) after participating in the Voyager 2 encounter with Uranus.


Typical wikipedia BS. There is not a single prototype reactor that can prove this claim. Observations of weak plasma in planetary magnetic fields is hardly proof of the concept. This is a nonlinear dynamical system and its operation in the high density, high temperature regime is not a linear scaling of the low density, cold temperature regime. I am quite sure that the DOE review panel is fully aware of these nuances, unlike wikipedia penny stock promoters.
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Fri 15 Mar 2013, 11:42:17

dissident wrote:
The Levitated Dipole Experiment was funded by the United States Department of Energy's Office of Fusion Energy, but funding for the LDX and other alternative fusion projects was ended in November 2011 to concentrate funding on tokamak approaches. MIT and Columbia are attempting to find other funding sources.

This basically kills off the optimism thrown around on web boards such as this by amateurs. This concept was reviewed by professionals and found wanting. If it was such a great concept with so much potential then it would have been funded for further research.

Yeah sure that's how things work in real life
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby ennui2 » Tue 19 Mar 2013, 02:01:49

In battery news, EESTOR finally released some technical specs that are very underwhelming. It's the closest thing to a capitulation on their part to the reality that their supercap technology can't work in EVs.
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby Beery1 » Tue 19 Mar 2013, 05:28:30

PrestonSturges wrote:The other tip-off is the small size. The magnetic core of the MIT reactor was about the size of tractor tire (weighing something like 13 tons). Which is tiny compared to most projects, but more plausible than the fringe fusion-in-a-teacup claims...


So, more plausible than something that's totally implausible. Sounds fantastic! I mean, with that kind of certitude, it can't possibly fail. I'd be crazy not to jump on that bandwagon. So where can I sign up to invest all my money with these folks?
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Tue 19 Mar 2013, 20:48:04

Well Lockheed Martin is publicly traded, so they are either going to have to nut up or shut up regards public statements of future products and profits.
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Re: Lockheed's Skunk Works promises fusion power in four yea

Unread postby Ferretlover » Wed 20 Mar 2013, 11:23:37

Fours years is pretty good--Sheldon thinks that if Raj, Howard & Leonard work with him, they can have fusion in ten years, 12 years, tops! lol

Sorry! I couldn't restrain myself! :oops:
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Re: Scientists call for a global nuclear renaissance

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 26 Apr 2013, 19:03:56

One giant leap for mankind: £13bn Iter project makes breakthrough in quest for nuclear fusion, a solution to climate change and an age of clean, unlimited energy

This week the project gained final approval for the design of the most technically challenging component – the fusion reactor’s “blanket” that will handle the super-heated nuclear fuel.

The building site in Cadarache has also passed the crucial stage where some 493 seismic bearings – giant concrete and rubber plinths – have been set into the reactor’s deep foundations to protect against possible earthquakes.

Peering over the edge of the huge seismic isolation pit, it is still possible to see some of these bearings before they are covered with a raft of reinforced concrete that will support the massive fusion machine at the heart of the £13bn Iter project.

Over the next few years about a million individual components of the highly complex fusion reactor will arrive at the Cadarache site from around the world. They will be assembled like a giant Lego model in a nearby building which has a volume equal to 81 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Nothing is left to chance in a project that has defied potential Babel-like misunderstandings between the collaborating nations. The design, development and construction of a machine that will attempt to emulate the nuclear fusion reactions of the Sun is proving to be a triumph of diplomacy, as well as science and engineering.

“It is the largest scientific collaboration in the world. In fact, the project is so complex we even had to invent our own currency – known as the Iter Unit of Account – to decide how each country pays its share,” says Carlos Alejaldre, Iter’s deputy director responsible for safety.

“We’ve passed from the design stage to being a construction project. We will have to show it is safe. If we cannot convince the public that this is safe, I don’t think nuclear fusion will be developed anywhere in the world,” Dr Alejaldre said.


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Bubble Fusion could be real

Unread postby TheAntiDoomer » Thu 01 Aug 2013, 12:17:15

http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/08/bubble ... k.html?m=1

Bubble fusion is the theory that nuclear fusion can be induced by rapidly collapsing bubbles in certain fluids. According to a new investigative report [by New Energy Times, Steven B. Krivit] into Oak Ridge National Laboratory records, a highly publicized finding from 2002 that cast the controversial tabletop nuclear fusion experiment into doubt has itself been cast into doubt.

Bubble fusion is the theory that nuclear fusion can be induced by rapidly collapsing bubbles in certain fluids. According to a new investigative report [by New Energy Times, Steven B. Krivit] into Oak Ridge National Laboratory records, a highly publicized finding from 2002 that cast the controversial tabletop nuclear fusion experiment into doubt has itself been cast into doubt.

In fact, the reporter who examined the Oak Ridge document dump also found possible vindicating evidence that might have supported some of the embattled researchers—including lead author Rusi Taleyarkhan, now at Purdue University
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Re: Bubble Fusion could be real

Unread postby Beery1 » Thu 01 Aug 2013, 14:48:15

Oooohhh! Quick - tell Rune and Vision-Master - they are always willing to believe some new nutty theory - the nuttier the better. Tell them the liquid is maple syrup, and don't forget to mention giant ancient aliens.
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Re: Bubble Fusion could be real

Unread postby dinopello » Thu 01 Aug 2013, 15:29:40

Unlike the E-Cat, there are products you can buy for this

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