This topic contains 100 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Brian H 9 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #3737
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    Rematog
    Member

    Aeronaut,

    This one plant (that I work at) burns $2M in coal in about 3 days during the summer (4-5 days in off peak season). We can unload a 2500 ton barge load in about 25 minute, transport the coal about 3/10 mile and pile it up. All in a days (or nights, or weekends) work. You really have to think big to get what the power industry is and does. We consider a 150 HP, 480V 3 phase motor as medium sized, the big stuff is 6,900V and 1000 HP and up. The Furnace is about 300′ tall. The foundation is a 12′ thick concrete mat with hundreds of piles under it. WE BIG….

    If your building larger facilities, you’d put in a big cooling tower, and use the circulating water from it to cool the He gas that cools the FF modules. Again, I’m only assuming He gas for vagely understood (by me) physics reasons. If plain jane H20 can be used directly, much better, and cheaper.

    Again, I was pointing out the cost of a dry (air cooled) heat exchanger to make a point about site costs for distributed FF modules.

    I absolutely agree, the initial and second phases of FF modules deployment will be to multi unit sites. My plant would require 345 modules of 5 MW net to replace what it generates. The small plant down the road would need another 44. And this is only to replace existing plants. Load growth would require another new site be developed, somewhere where the TRANMISSION (I’m not talking about distribution guys) grid could take the additional load.

    Rematog.

    #3738
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    You big, Rematog. Even lil brother is 220 MW. If they don’t really want to save ~200M$/yr, while reducing their exposure to the EPA, Rick Wagner may still be looking for work…

    Seriously, though, even a 300′ furnace/boiler has to be zoned so it can be periodically inspected without shutting the whole site down. Therefore, a business case could be built around replacing small pieces in say, a five to ten year plan as everybody gets comfortable with the idea.

    No stranded assets, improved response to peak loads, steadily reduced EPA exposure, and (hopefully) stable or declining net fuel costs.

    #3739
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    Lerner
    Participant

    Rematog is basically right about what we want to do with individual units. Compressed helium is the logical coolant as it does not absorb the x-rays and can be moved in and out quickly. It will be at a fairly high temperature as we will run the Be anode as hot as possible without eroding it swiftly. But we do not want to use the waste heat for turbine generation because that will drive the capital cost way up, negating the basic low cost we hope to achieve with the FF generators. If we double the output and have ten times higher capital costs, we are down by a factor of five. Dumping the heat into water is difficult if we want to place these everywhere. So air cooling would be the best choice.
    However, this ignores the possibility of using the heat directly—as Rematog says, for example for heating a small district. Then you have air cooling again, but the heat release is spread out over a wide area. In Europe, you already have co-generation set up. In the US, it’s a question if the capital costs of putting in the heat distribution system outweighs the cost of electric heating units. I assume that really depends on population density. In big cities you install co-generation (NYC has had that for decades) but not in the suburbs.

    #3740
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    So we’re back to selling to factories, hospitals, and high-rises to use most of the 10MW. As a designer and promoter wannabe, I’m not comfortable with just giving away nearly 50% of the energy gain. That kind of sloppy accounting sets us up for a global warming sucker punch that’s guaranteed to go viral, getting us labeled right down there with cold fusion.

    Now I have enough numbers and theory to do some spreadsheeting to see what I can do with 800, 600, and 400 degree F exiting helium, and what flow rates would be required for 17M BTU/hr. And yes, I am looking for an elegant, cost-effective solution that theoretically any small fab shop owner could do in his spare time.

    Thank you all for putting up with my basic questions.

    #3742
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    JimmyT
    Participant

    I think one of the earliest prototypes must have a hollow core electrode. We really need to measure that electron beam. Both to figure out if its worth capturing and figuring how much it adds to the cooling load.
    This also suggests that a concentric shell design might be the way to go.
    What does the butt end of that base plate look like? Is there room for a small passage? The innermost tube or two could be something other than beryllium too. Since we will be unable to collect those x-rays headed directly downward anyway. Introducing the “cool” helium via the innermost cooling tube to exit and head downward close to the tip would have the added advantage of maximizing the cooling at the tip where cooling is the biggest problem.

    If you are only going to do 1 pulse every 10 minutes or so on the experimental device you might not have to worry about cooling at that stage of the project at all. Is that true? In which case the electron beam captureing/measuring device could be built right into the electrode base since coolant disruption wouldn’t be a factor.

    #3743
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    JimmyT
    Participant

    JimmyT wrote: I think one of the earliest prototypes must have a hollow core electrode. We really need to measure that electron beam. Both to figure out if its worth capturing and figuring how much it adds to the cooling load. It also would give us an additional in-site into what is happening in that plasmoid.

    This also suggests that a concentric shell design might be the way to go.

    What does the butt end of that base plate look like? Is there room for a small passage? The innermost tube or two could be something other than beryllium too. Since we will be unable to collect those x-rays headed directly downward anyway. Introducing the “cool” helium via the innermost cooling tube to exit and head downward close to the tip would have the added advantage of maximizing the cooling at the tip where cooling is the biggest problem.

    If you are only going to do 1 pulse every 10 minutes or so on the experimental device you might not have to worry about cooling at that stage of the project at all. Is that true? In which case the electron beam capturing/measuring device could be built right into the electrode base since coolant disruption wouldn’t be a factor.

    #3744
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    Rematog, I can see that it’s going to require a 4 year degree for me to discuss this intelligently in numbers. My initial target problem for FF to solve was powering ships, trains, industry, and large buildings. When its small and light enough, it could power semi trucks for even larger carbon emissions reductions. This thread has forced me to learn a lot about steam plants to minimize or eliminate your industry being stuck with incompletely depreciated capital assets, which could remelt Wall Street.

    Besides, America’s energy appetite is 60 to 80% electric, depending on who’s numbers you use. I’d like to see that exceed 95% within 10 years to help control liquid fuel costs by reducing demand for foreign oil.

    What I meant by leverage can be extended to using FF’s electrical output to power your monstrous motors, lights, and everything else that reduces your net power output. Another 3 to 5 MW of heating capacity does not have to make 1st stage operating steam directly, since I understand you have reheated steam entering at least 1 of your 21 stages.

    To my untrained eye, 2 energy conversions in particular caught my eye- burning coal to heat air to heat steam tubes to heat water into steam is the first one. Any pre-heating is going to reduce your fuel consumption and EPA exposure. The second is that you’re running a condenser instead of reheating that purified feed water. Granted that water is easier to heat with helium than steam, but being on the Gulf, my guess is your condensers have a lot of scheduled downtime due to corrosion.

    In summary, I’ve been trying to adapt FF to your plant as an auxiliary energy source, rather than the economically threatening scenario of new steam equipment or the dogmatically threatening scenario of replacing coal with fusion.

    #3745
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    I almost forgot to mention the low-tech piston steam engines of the 1800s for developing countries with ready access to water. Temperatures, pressures, and machining tolerances were much lower back when steam really took off over 100 years ago.

    #3748
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    Rematog
    Member

    Aeronaut,

    Your essentially right that you don’t really understand what your talking about.

    Our boilers are one big box, that generates steam for a 615 MW Gross, 575 MW net unit (3 units on our site). Each unit shuts down completely for major work. Yes, we condense the steam in the condenser, and yes, we have feedwater heaters (7 stages in fact) to increase the cycle effiency.

    No FF will not be used to power motors, etc on the coal fired steam plant. A unit would complete replaced by (in our case) a colletion of 115 FF modules that would reuse the site, the switchyard (step-up transformers, etc for placing the power on the grid), cooling towers, buidings, etc. The rest would be torn down and sold as scrap metal. Then we would start on replacing the next unit.

    It would be complete impractical, economically as well as politically, to keep burning millions of tons of coal a year, once FF modules are commerically available.

    The internal combustion engine replaced the horse as power for vehicles. FF would just as completely, and likely more quickly, replace steam power plants, both coal and nuclear fission fueled. It could, I guess, be made smaller for transportation use, but I would think that shielding it would be difficult for anything smaller then a locomotive.

    Your worry about trying to use the heat rejected by the cooling system is misplaced. I believe the media and the general public would be so overjoyed with the cost savings and the lack of exhaust gases or highly radioactive waste that waste heat utilization wouldn’t be considered. Think about it. How many people worry about the heat rejected by the radiator in their car?

    Yes, FF would cause some big companies to fail, and others to prosper. I feel that overall, FF would lead to a new golden age, as power became much less expensive and limited only by our desire to make it. Focus Fusion would have no limiting resource, we could build as many modules as needed to power whatever mega project we wished to try, such as greening the Sahara, etc.

    #3749
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    Rematog
    Member

    FOR THE BOARDS CONSIDERATION

    Power Engineer – Focus On Coal

    Coal-fired power plants capacity to grow by 35 per cent in next 10 years
    World coal-fired power plant capacity will grow from 1,759,000 MW in 2010 to 2,384,000 MW in 2020. Some 80,000 MW will be replaced. So there will be 705,000 MW of new coal-fired boilers built. The annual new boiler sales will average 70,000 MW. The annual investment will be $140 billion.

    These are the most recent forecasts in Coal-fired Boilers: World Analysis and Forecast published by the McIlvaine Company.

    Coal-fired power in Asia will rise to 1,464,000 MW in 2020 up from 918,000 MW this year. This will account for an increase in CO2 of 2.6 billion tons.

    So even if the US and Europe were to cut CO2 emissions by far more than the targeted 20 percent, the total CO2 increase from Asia will offset it by a wide margin.

    Coal-fired power in India will rise from 95,000 MW to 294,000 MW over the next 11 years. This accounts for the largest percentage rise (300) plus the biggest quantitative rise (199,000 MW). So India alone will increase CO2 by 955 million tons per year

    The US presently operates coal-fired power plants at a much lower efficiency than those in Europe. Many of the new Chinese power plants are highly efficient. A number of small old power plants have been replaced. However within the last decade China has increased capacity from less than 50 per cent to more than 200 percent of the US capacity. Its CO2 emissions far exceed those from US power plants. Since coal is also still burned in residential and commercial boilers, Chinese total coal burning CO2 emissons far exceed the US.

    China and India have coal resources. Other Asian countries have access to supplies from Australia and other nearby sources. The cost of coal-fired power is low compared to the alternatives in the near-term. Since planning of new coal-fired power plants occurs as much as a decade in advance, there is not likely to be a major change in the forecast through 2020. Any impact of renewable energy in Asia is only likely to happen after 2020.

    McIlvaine Company tracks every coal-fired power project in World Power Generation Projects.

    For more information, visit http://www.mcilvainecompany.com

    #3750
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    Rematog
    Member

    From the above projection, just to replace the predicted coal fired electric power generation world wide would require 476,800 Focus Fusion Modules of 5 MW capacity. Add to this nuclear fission, oil and gas fire generation, plus additional load growth due to falling energy prices (I’d assume electric power is a somewhat “elastic” comodity, with demand increasing with decreases in price), and you can see that in the first 10 years of Focus Fusion, the world market would easly absorb 1 Million Focus Fusion Modules.

    At $1 Million per module, installed cost, that is a $ 1 Trillion dollar market. I’d call this a growth industry.

    #3752
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    So why all the hand-wringing on page 1, Rematog?

    To the Board: This thread has exposed at least one serious flaw on https://focusfusion.org , left column, Transition link, then the Heat and Thermal Pollution link in the article body, where FF is described essentially as needing no cooling system.

    I spent the last few days reading the Home page as if I knew nothing about fusion, followed most of the links, and printed out the unique, descriptive articles. I also printed out the entire patent text and drawings, and will finish reading it today, hopefully. This comes from the advice to figure out how to build one in your garage. First, understand, Then sketch and ask questions.

    My marketing strategy is to pitch it as a 5 to 9MW/hr energy source, depending on the nature of the application, so the heat doesn’t surprise anybody down the road. This thread has moved FF from the Utopian realm to the Engineering Challenges realm, which greatly enhances its credibility, in my opinion. Thanx for the heads up, Rematog.

    #3753
    Avatar
    Rematog
    Member

    Aeronaut,

    The reason I started the post was to point out, with the cooling system as an example, that a FF power module would need significant “external” or site costs, even (or especially) in a distributed application. There seemed, to me, to be a tendency on the board to assume that you would be able to buy a 5 MW Module for the claimed $500k and that would be the full cost of the installation. My point was that the full cost would be greatly more when you included land, foundations, roads, security, controls, power in/out, cooling, freight, etc.

    You are right, that a FF unit could provide usable heat. In fact I’ve posted that one use of FF would be a specially designed FF “Boiler” with no X-ray to electric power conversion. The X-ray’s could be captured by a heat sink that would convert the X-ray’s energy into higher temperature heat, for uses such as process steam for use in an industrial plant. If I understand the energy balance, the ion beam would provide almost breakeven power. Note that I not talking about FF in a commerical/residential heating role, but in that of providing heat in an industrial setting that would not be near population centers. I steadfastly maintain that distrubuted applications will be further down the road (20+ years to my mind) then is commonly thought by this board.

    #3754
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    Aeronaut
    Member

    You’re absolutely right about the industrial add-ons gobbling up the budget, Rematog. Still, I’d halfway like to put one in my garage and power about a 1 mile radius. (Low population density around here).

    I know that roughly 1 meter of water will shield against nuetrons- can it turn x-rays into useful heat and bring that part of the energy output conversion back where DIYers just might be able to build one ?[chuckle].

    I finished the theory notes about an hour ago, btw. Got some more chores before I can check the claims and math in any detail, but now I do understand at least the current and magnetic aspects.

    The whole theory section of the patent kept bringing Pentode (Ok-Octode or Dectode) vacuum tubes to mind.

    #3755
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    Rematog
    Member

    Of course, you will need a license from the NRC and State regulator’s to operate a nuclear fusion reactor. As a powerful source of X-rays, it would be dangerous in the wrong hands or improperly built and operated. And I’d guess that the ion beam would be of some concern.

    Maybe Eric or someone else with the physic’s knowledge could address that.

    Either way, I’m sure some licensing would be required. We have to get a license to hold any radioactive source or a commerical x-ray analyzer.

    Rematog

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