Homepage Forums Spreading the Word Making the fusion case to Electric Car industry

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  • #10827
    Avatarzapkitty
    Member

    Aeronaut wrote: Automakers’ R&D budgets are driven to a very large extent by trying to balance muscle-mobiles with their Corporate Average Fuel Economy (and the implied air pollution) laws. Thus a $100M investment could let them build whatever sells, such as Ego-Boost. This enough to build, staff, and operate over 50 LPP clones per year, a more than respectable Maintenance Of Effort on the auto industry’s part. And it’s enough to get a lot of good press.

    … an electric SUV? 🙂

    #10828
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    zapkitty wrote:

    Automakers’ R&D budgets are driven to a very large extent by trying to balance muscle-mobiles with their Corporate Average Fuel Economy (and the implied air pollution) laws. Thus a $100M investment could let them build whatever sells, such as Ego-Boost. This enough to build, staff, and operate over 50 LPP clones per year, a more than respectable Maintenance Of Effort on the auto industry’s part. And it’s enough to get a lot of good press.

    … an electric SUV? 🙂

    Coming next yr, the RAV4-EV from Toyota, powered by TeslaMotors. Then the Model X cross-over from Tesla in 2013. The former with ~100 mi range, the latter with up to 300.

    #10830
    Avatardennisp
    Member

    Renewables are “here now” only if you’re talking about using them for, say, 20% of the nation’s power, with fossil fuels or nuclear handling the rest. (Well, hydroelectric can handle baseload too, but we can’t build that many more dams.)

    To make wind and solar handle everything, you need affordable grid-scale storage, and that is definitely not here now.

    Here’s an article that highlights just how big of a problem that is:
    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/08/nation-sized-battery/

    The assumptions there are probably overly pessimistic, but even so, the sheer scale of the problem boggles the mind.

    #10831

    It is a tough sell for focused fusion because an Electric vehicle crowed is primarily interested in the environment, sustainability and clean and renewable power sources wind solar and farmed fuels.

    Therefore it tells me that things about nuclear power should be dealt with caution. I suggest also that NoNeutronic fusion is used instead of Aneutronic which is a bit unclear, and Noneutronic is also easier to pronounce I believe in other languages(my guess).
    Plasma Power should be the selling name for a crowed where anything nuclear spells DISASTER. The actual noneutronic fusion reaction is easy explainable if these 4 points are emphasized i think.

    The selling points to my mind should be on what we can do, to the electricity situation, not what we can’t do with the obvious limitations of alternative power sources:

    1. Sustainability. (with cheap plasma power renewables will also be much cheaper, because renewable are very resource demanding, water power, space, and not least time consuming, designing newer and better versions and also putting them up and building them. Everyting requires power….)
    2. Safety. The plasma power plant is TINY TINY TINY. It runs sort of like a petrol engine with fuel injected in a combustion chamber in very small doses and therefore cannot run astray as in a chain reaction, as in the “dangerous” fission plants. It also doesn’t need a boiler because of direct power production (genius part!)
    3. Environmental. The fuel is basically water!!! Hello! Is that not a bit of news that deserves headlines or what?! The other fuel is of cause boron which is (I belive) in enough supply to cover humanity for thousands of years with predicted power consumption growth.
    4. Success. We (focused fusion society) is ALREADY SUCESSFUL! The experiment is already up and running it is not sci-fi. The tests already far exceed those of other huge national and international experiments. The problems are completely known and a plasma plants cost are specified, and it is again tiny compared to ITER…. SO we don’t need much, due to the 3 previous stated points so you can easily help the sustainable EV industry put by helping us!

    I don’t think more points than 4 is appropriate. There of cause needs to be small images of the lab and plasma plant design, and very important a visualized scale model a one. Also the test results compared with others should be available.

    Best regards Johan

    #10833
    Avatarbenf
    Participant

    Brian H – 10 October 2011 02:01 AM
    Coming next yr, the RAV4-EV from Toyota, powered by TeslaMotors. Then the Model X cross-over from Tesla in 2013. The former with ~100 mi range, the latter with up to 300.

    I’m with Brian….spend some time at the Tesla booth….Elon Musk, with his Musk Foundation, is someone who should want to be supportive of Focus Fusion.

    #10836
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    zapkitty wrote:

    Automakers’ R&D budgets are driven to a very large extent by trying to balance muscle-mobiles with their Corporate Average Fuel Economy (and the implied air pollution) laws. Thus a $100M investment could let them build whatever sells, such as Ego-Boost. This enough to build, staff, and operate over 50 LPP clones per year, a more than respectable Maintenance Of Effort on the auto industry’s part. And it’s enough to get a lot of good press.

    … an electric SUV? 🙂

    And pickup trucks and muscle cars. The real key to it may turn out to be the ubiquity of top-off charging stations, rather than theoretical range per charge. At least one company is already making some headway selling chargers to parking garages as part of the newer, smarter, grid.

    #10837
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    I like Johan’s points about the Plasma Power tag and a model around 16 to 32 inches across (1/12 to 1/6 scale more or less). A button to push, some LEDs showing where the action is at that phase, and a jackpot type of payoff display- maybe all the LEDS flash in crazy patterns for a second or two.

    Plasma Power reminds me of Fluid Power, which the hydraulics industry uses to clean up an image that could also be perceived as oily and leaky. Neutrons alone took too much effort for me to get my head around.

    To summarize, think in terms of ultimate end user benefits, package them so the auto industry can easily see how to sell that package, and leave the techie stuff to FF.

    #10839
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Johan Clemmesen wrote:

    4. Success. We (focused fusion society) is ALREADY SUCESSFUL! The experiment is already up and running it is not sci-fi. The tests already far exceed those of other huge national and international experiments. The problems are completely known and a plasma plants cost are specified, and it is again tiny compared to ITER…. SO we don’t need much, due to the 3 previous stated points so you can easily help the sustainable EV industry put by helping us!

    I don’t think more points than 4 is appropriate. There of cause needs to be small images of the lab and plasma plant design, and very important a visualized scale model a one. Also the test results compared with others should be available.

    Best regards Johan

    Heh. The Society is indeed fairly ‘focused’, but the name is the Focus Fusion Society, since it is a version of DPF — Dense Plasma Focus.

    #10840
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    benf wrote:

    Brian H – 10 October 2011 02:01 AM
    Coming next yr, the RAV4-EV from Toyota, powered by TeslaMotors. Then the Model X cross-over from Tesla in 2013. The former with ~100 mi range, the latter with up to 300.

    I’m with Brian….spend some time at the Tesla booth….Elon Musk, with his Musk Foundation, is someone who should want to be supportive of Focus Fusion.

    Yeah, the only conflict I can see is that his baby, Solar City, would fall on hard times if FF took off. But FF addresses virtually all of his Big Picture interests. Someone should buttonhole him; if I had his email I’d be all over him. :coolsmile:

    BTW, that is without doubt the most minimalist website I have ever seen! 6 lines of text, with the first a Bold font.

    #10841
    Avatarzapkitty
    Member

    Brian H wrote: BTW, that is without doubt the most minimalist website I have ever seen! 6 lines of text, with the first a Bold font.

    … you’re right, should have been an

    or

    tag.

    #10843
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Johan Clemmesen wrote:

    4. Success. We (focused fusion society) is ALREADY SUCESSFUL! The experiment is already up and running it is not sci-fi. The tests already far exceed those of other huge national and international experiments. The problems are completely known and a plasma plants cost are specified, and it is again tiny compared to ITER…. SO we don’t need much, due to the 3 previous stated points so you can easily help the sustainable EV industry put by helping us!

    I don’t think more points than 4 is appropriate. There of cause needs to be small images of the lab and plasma plant design, and very important a visualized scale model a one. Also the test results compared with others should be available.

    Best regards Johan

    Ah, but that’s the less certain part. Yes, the experiment is a real experiment, testing a fascinating possibility, and ahead of other national experiments in terms of energy out for unit of energy in. However, this is still not breakeven, and I’ve found that most VC’s or people in the environmental community want to know first of all if they can plug in to the technology, if you have a working prototype, etc. The truth is, this is still proof of concept, and the answer to that question is no, not yet, and there’s a chance not at all. That’s the nature of proof of concept research. Possibility of a stellar payoff, but don’t put all your money into it. Keep your portfolio diversified.

    This is why I wasn’t going so much for selling one particular research approach, but for making the message that the electric car industry needs to take a broad, long term perspective on fusion research to make sure that promising alternatives get funded, because that could really help the auto industry, even if today things look a bit sketchy in the fusion realm. If you look at the bigger picture, it sounds pretty reasonable, and there’s no need to oversell on any one fusion approach. Then, when something works out, people will be pleasantly surprised, even though they probably would have been funding it just to hedge their bets.

    It seems like our approaches fit gender generalizations. I prefer the argument that fusion is a necessary part of a balanced portfolio, and am interested in a broader fusion fund to make it happen.

    I’m looking at ways to make the argument to the EV folks as an industry, on behalf of fusion as an industry, with specific projects as an educational example* to give people a sense of what might be possible (without overselling it). Focus Fusion is a great technology to show-case because it shows the picture of the range of approaches, small scale distributed vs. large scale; and most importantly, the range of nuclear energy – aneutronic vs. neutronic vs. fission. It’s an ideal energy source to aspire to, but can it, in fact, be realized? Only the research will tell, and only when it’s all said and done and you have a beating prototype in your lab, producing net energy.

    The upshot is, we have to stay the course on the research, mind the costs, look for diversified sources of revenue and keep a diversified portfolio. That’s the logical approach.

    That’s logical enough for me. I don’t see the appeal of the oversell, in fact it makes me nervous. But according to NYTimes generalization, men like the whole overconfidence thing, so this approach might be seen as weak and a possible turn off to them. Go figure.

    *Also, as a nonprofit, we can’t solicit investment, so this is all purely about education for us.

    #10844
    Avatardennisp
    Member

    Overconfidence is rampant in the energy fiield, from ultracapacitors to cold fusion. The FF team’s honesty about potential failure is refreshing, and one of the things that initially convinced me they were real scientists rather than flakes.

    #10845

    Dear FFS.
    I am not sure I understand what is being said, and I am perhaps not housebroken regarding politicized gender debate, so if my proposals have been injuring I apologize unhesitatingly! In the politicized light it seems clear that my reply to the sale points from Rezwan are easily understood as overconfident.

    They have perhaps come off as provoking but they are just humble opinions and naturally require (gender) balanced questioning, so that is good you’re aware of that I think. I am acquainted with academia and engineering personally and professionally, so I would not ever dream of pitching a magic bullet to solve all problems. That goes without saying, but I am a newbie %-P to Focused Fusion Society and we need time to get to know each other better. I hope so very much.

    The proposal is thought of as a single sheet of paper,(selling the general idea), accompanied with oral elaboration of the uncompleted and imperative research and hardware. But with the issues at hand maybe it is an idea to state the benefits of the concept on half of the page and on the other what’s needed for further research (basically what money is going to go to).

    The appeal I’d like to make to the primary proposal is that I believe(humbly) that there needs to be a greater emphasis on the machine and technology. Not too much of course but a picture of it or some tangible evidence of the “life” of the possibilities with the exciting technology. I don’t know if that is the primary objective at all and it is difficult to tell anything about you or the EV fest from where I am.

    BTW I have a good friend who was executive of the company that build the EVs that drove around the world. He is a really nice guy and he might have a point or two on how to attract investment from his point of view.

    Just an idea
    Best regards
    Johan
    http://moto-mundo.com/
    http://www.afuture.dk/pdf/A_FUTURE_Qashqai_Electric.pdf

    #10846
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    No injury!

    Quite the opposite. I’m just casting about for ways to justify my more cautious approach and the NYT article gave it some validity with a bit of gender discrimination to make it unassailable. 🙂

    But back to the serious matter at hand, each person will have a different pitching style, and different pitches will work on different people. I, personally, am not comfortable with pitching a single technology, first because I legally can’t (that’s soliciting investment and I’m the head of a nonprofit). Second because I’m too conscious of the uncertainty, and the history of fusion and “overselling”. So my approach is to acknowledge the uncertainty and work to build the capacity and stamina for risky research so that no one ever needs to oversell fusion. We (citizens, investors, researchers) need to roll up our sleeves and get the work done. It’s the harder sell, but ethical and reasonable.

    I think when you sell the potential of Focus Fusion as a done deal, you get more people saying, “OK, I’ll wait and see if it works out”, whereas if we acknowledge the risks up front and show that you’ve thought through all the possibilities, you attract more serious, committed people. I like starting with a broader context: why EV folks should be interested in fusion in the long run, especially given that there are potential “pleasant physics surprises” (selling fusion just on mainline fusion is a non-starter). And then, in a separate one sheet, you could pitch focus fusion – or another fusion person could pitch their idea.

    The one sheet I’m going for here is the general one, it should be usable by a variety of fusion researchers. Industry to Industry pitch. Leave specifics for the actual companies when they talk to actual investors.

    #10847
    Avatarzapkitty
    Member

    Definitions noted. Execution proceeds. 🙂

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