Homepage Forums Focus Fusion Cafe How much Borax to power a reactor?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  dennisp 5 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1499

    dennisp
    Member

    I’m working on a simple explanation of focus fusion. I’d like to give the reader an idea of how common the fuel is.

    To that end: if we got our boron from boxes of Borax from the drugstore, how much would we need to run a 5 MW reactor for a year?

    #12875

    zapkitty
    Member

    dennisp wrote: I’m working on a simple explanation of focus fusion. I’d like to give the reader an idea of how common the fuel is.

    To that end: if we got our boron from boxes of Borax from the drugstore, how much would we need to run a 5 MW reactor for a year?

    Got my head in purgespace right now but these numbers can give an approximation….

    Lerner – 05 November 2006 06:48 PM
    A 5 MW reactor takes about 5 kg of fuel per year.

    The default FF fuel is currently decaborane which is 88.45% boron and 11.55% hydrogen. I believe the boron in the fuel is supposed to be already “enriched” i.e. boron-11.

    20 Mule Team Borax is supposed to be almost (99.5%) pure borax and pure borax is about 11% boron.

    And naturally occurring boron is about 80% boron-11 and 20% boron-10.

    #12876

    dennisp
    Member

    Cool. So 5kg of fuel is 4.4 kg boron, divided by .8 for 5.5 kg natural boron. Then divide by 11% for 50 kg Borax, or 110 lbs.

    #12879

    Tulse
    Participant

    dennisp wrote: Cool. So 5kg of fuel is 4.4 kg boron, divided by .8 for 5.5 kg natural boron. Then divide by 11% for 50 kg Borax, or 110 lbs.

    And divide that by 365 for about .14 kg per day, which, given that a 2.15 kg box of 20 Mule Team sells for $6 at Amazon, works out to around 39 cents a day for fuel costs. And at 5MW, that would power about 5000 homes (I believe this is right, no?). Meaning that, if my math is right, the cost in fuel for each home per day is .0018 cents — presuming the cost of fuel is just the cost of borax, which it obviously isn’t since it needs to be made into decaborane. But, that cost is Amazon Prime delivering the box to the door of the fuel processing plant — I’m just guessing there are cheaper sources of borax, or even decaborane.

    EDIT: OK, so pricing for actual decaborane can run around $50/g. That would make the actual fuel costs for a single home around 13 cents a day.

    Of course, fuel is not the only cost involved in generating the power, but for fossil fuel power plants it is overwhelmingly the majority of the costs. And not only does FF have vastly cheaper fuel, it also has a much smaller physical plant (conventional or nuclear power generating stations also have large machinery and plumbing dedicated to boiling water to make steam to turn a turbine to spin a generator, something FF doesn’t have).

    #12881

    dennisp
    Member

    Nice, thanks Tulse. Government says U.S. average is 11,280 kWh per year, for overall average of 1.3 kW. But consumption is higher during the day, so maybe figure 2 kW.
    http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=97&t=3

    So our reactor is good for around 2500 homes, assuming they’re not plugging in electric cars. And to run it for a year we need 25 boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax Natural Laundry Booster.

    I don’t know how many people use Borax, but the neighborhood’s probably using more than that actually doing the laundry.

    #12890

    dennisp
    Member

    Actually that was silly, peak power tells us how many reactors we need but for overall fuel consumption we need the average. So really we’re more like 16 boxes for our 2500 homes.

    Or to put it another way, one box powers about 150 homes for a year.

    #12891

    Tulse
    Participant

    dennisp wrote: Or to put it another way, one box powers about 150 homes for a year.

    Now that really makes clear how much energy fusion can produce! That seems so absurdly small. (It would be interesting to compare that to how much coal would be needed…)

    The great thing about fusion is that its fuel costs are practically nil (even presuming a fuel as pricey as decaborane), and the great thing about aneutronic fusion is that it also doesn’t have all the costs associate with complex steam generation. It’s a win/win.

    #12892
    Breakable
    Breakable
    Keymaster

    I do expect that once fusion is utilized as power source even more research on it will lead to optimizations in fuel burn and more efficient fusion. Focus Fusion is just the first step towards advancing our civilization!

    #12901

    dennisp
    Member

    It takes 1.07 pounds of coal to generate 1 kWh.

    http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=667&t=2

    So for 150 homes using 11,280 kWh per year, we need (150 * 11280) / 2000 = 846 tons of coal.

    An average railcar holds 120 tons of coal.

    http://www.matts-place.com/trains/coal/coaltrain_basics.htm

    So in place of one box of borax, we need about 7 railcars of coal.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.