Homepage Forums Innovative Confinement Concepts (ICC) and others Design Engineering article on General Fusion

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1358
    AvatarIvy Matt
    Participant

    Design Engineering has an article on General Fusion, viewable online (click on the cover image). The Canadian company is hoping to achieve proof of concept in 2015 and have a commercial reactor available by 2020. The article mentions ITER and NIF, but a quote from Dr. Paul Wilson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison also appears to contain an oblique mention of other contenders:

    “I think a horse race metaphor works well,” Wilson observes. “We’re probably going to see one horse pull ahead and then maybe another catch up and lead the group for a while, and so on. This will be an interesting decade.”

    Where have I heard that horse race metaphor before? 😉

    (Hat tip to jcoady at Talk-Polywell.)

    #11946
    AvatarJoeviocoe
    Member

    Ivy Matt wrote: Design Engineering has an article on General Fusion, viewable online (click on the cover image). The Canadian company is hoping to achieve proof of concept in 2015 and have a commercial reactor available by 2020. The article mentions ITER and NIF, but a quote from Dr. Paul Wilson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison also appears to contain an oblique mention of other contenders:

    “I think a horse race metaphor works well,” Wilson observes. “We’re probably going to see one horse pull ahead and then maybe another catch up and lead the group for a while, and so on. This will be an interesting decade.”

    Where have I heard that horse race metaphor before? 😉

    (Hat tip to jcoady at Talk-Polywell.)

    Nice article.

    “General Fusion will be holding an important physics test this summer of their plasma compression device. If all goes well, it is likely to change the global fusion mindset”
    I doubt it. The will have to prove feasibility that this device can scale to a size that produces more energy output than input. So even if the physics work out, that doesn’t mean a power plant is feasible or practical… and the global fusion mindset will stay with the Tokamaks and 50 years away.

    But I do like the approach. A steampunk fusion approach 🙂

    #11948
    AvatarTulse
    Participant

    I admire the gumption and out-of-box thinking of the General Fusion folks, but their approach seems absolutely absurd to me. I can’t imagine the timing and tolerances needed being sustainable over the frequency of compressions needed to produce practically useful power.

    #11949
    AvatarJoeviocoe
    Member

    Tulse wrote: I admire the gumption and out-of-box thinking of the General Fusion folks, but their approach seems absolutely absurd to me. I can’t imagine the timing and tolerances needed being sustainable over the frequency of compressions needed to produce practically useful power.

    Not to mention the maintenance. The more moving parts you have, and the faster/harder they operate… leads to some significant challenges.

    #11950

    It’s an interesting take on MTF. I know the tests that were going on at LANL showed some promise but they were using aluminum cans as the metal shell. The liquid has some advantages since you can reuse it. Power plant? Who knows but it might show some interesting results.

    #11951
    AvatarJoeviocoe
    Member

    asymmetric_implosion wrote: but they were using aluminum cans as the metal shell.

    Like soda cans?

    #11952
    Avatardelt0r
    Member

    Yes, soda cans, thick ones (5mm IIRC). Its was driven by a rather large pulse generator that produces say a pulse per week IIRC. Basically the liner is imploded with a z-pinch. I want to try imploding a liquid metal liner with a z-pinch. A really think one, ie high aspect ratio where most of the compression is from momentum.

    As for the “hard to make work”. See the thread on reliable high current, high voltage switches for 10Hz operation. There are none!

    #11956

    Joeviocoe wrote:

    but they were using aluminum cans as the metal shell.

    Like soda cans?

    As delt0r said, they are pretty thick. The Sandia MAGLIF concept uses a similar idea of a thin Be can instead of aluminum to compress a ~100 eV magnetized plasma. As delt0r said, the problem is switches. The other issue is mechanically reloading on a useful time scale. The LANL tests damaged the test chamber badly with Q<<1. They intend to operate at very low rep-rate with high gain but it is a difficult concept to engineer.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.