Moderators: tonybarryMSimon. Privacy Terms. Quick links. Z-Pinch Renaissance Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion. The UW in cooperation with Lawrence Livermore recently got 5.
What excited me about this, is that this could be an extremely compact device. They are also well enough funded for their coming proof of concept experiments I think they were supposed to happen inwith first plasma already this year. They still have a way to go but I hear that their results have been quite encouraging. I have a bit of trouble understanding what exactly they are trying to do compared to previous experiments. We will see where that goes. They take a plasma stream, squeeze it with a first pinch to "shape it" in a more stable configuration and pinch it again to induce fusion.
It makes sense from a logic point of view, but I am not a big fan of this idea. If Shumlaks Z- pinch design works as hoped, it would make for an incredibly compact fusion reactor.
Polywell Fusion: Electrostatic Fusion in a Magnetic Cusp
The paper is, quite reasonably, technically dense but it certainly sounds cautiously optimistic. How many irons in the fire do we have at this point? Granted a lot of fusion experiments do, but it is still too important a milestone to not mention it. Stable plasma at kA a 4 times improvement over the previous experiment pretty much validates the scaling laws for their concept, though they still plan to demonstrate kA by August when ARPA- E funding runs out.
Once they have achieved that, they "only" have to slightly more than double the current to kA to achieve break even. A powerplant would "only" have to double the current again in order to be economic. So another 4 times increase essentially what they have done so far with this experiment. To fund this, they have founded a spin- off, ZAP Energy, to seek funding for the next stage of their Sheared Flow Z- Pinch development from private investors. Not sure if I am the only one who has a good feeling about this one.
I for one hope they find funding for their break even experiment. They could be top contender. So that could be the day they decided to present their latest results to the world in order to get funding from private investors. Looking at the scope of the FuZE experiment, I am not sure how much they will have to show, beyond the hopefully positive results of their current work.
I don't think that their break even experiment would be that expensive to finance, but even small money is hard to come by when it comes to fusion. Why expect the cigar will be lit up this time?This approach neatly side-steps several of the difficulties that have kept fusion always the "energy source of tomorrow. It's just a matter of confirming the results with a few more experiments, and then working out the engineering details for a full-scale power plant. For more details, please see the links below.
Links Here I'm attempting to gather a complete list of web pages that discuss polywell fusion in anything more than a passing mention except for blogs which are simply quoting other sources without adding value. Should Google Go Nuclear? A video of a lecture given by Dr. Bussard at Google in November This is a must-see.
It is 90 minutes long; if in a hurry, see: Highlights of the Google talk. Presents just the key excerpts from the above video in three minutes. For more detail, see the full lecture above. A write-up of the Google lecture by a third party. Note that it contains some glaring mistakes, in particular, misidentifying the machines shown in the pictures.
Still a useful read though. A report on the final WB-6 tests, hosted by the University of Wisconsin. A nontechnical and hastily assembled paper by Dr. Bussard describing the work done under the Navy contract. This is the first published summary of that work, and gives a good feel for the history of the project, as well as space applications thereof.
Wikipedia: Polywell. A good introduction to the topic including some interesting discussion. Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Overview. Also available with better formatting in PDF format. Hydrogen-Boron vs. A nice overview of these two fusion reactions the polywell reactor would run the hydrogen-boron reaction, though not by generating tremendous temperatures, but by colliding ions at just the right energy.
The Space Show: March 4 Podcast in which Jim Benson talks mostly about his new space venture, but at about 1 hour in, he spends 10 minutes or so on Dr. Bussard's research. Benson is the founder of SpaceDev, which now has Dr. Bussard's lab equipment and three of his lab techs. The Space Show: May 8 Podcast interviewing Tom Ligon and Dr.Polywell fusion simulation with CUDA (V2)
Robert Bussard.Once nuclear physicists solve that problem, find a way to either neutralize the radiation or make it possible to reuse the fuel more than once again, and again, and again. Should polywell fusion work as has been theorized, very cheap and safe nuclear power will become available planet wide is short order. An apparatus and method of extracting power from energetic ions produced by nuclear fusion in a toroidal plasma to enhance respectively the toroidal plasma current and fusion reactivity.
More machines followed and the first international collaboration in nuclear fusion, on the T-3 tokamak, established the tokamak as a promising option for magnetic confinement. Yet the idea of nuclear fusion, in which atoms combine into more stable forms and release excess energy in the process, is not new. There are two basic types of nuclear weapons: those which derive the majority of their energy from nuclear fission reactions alone, and those which use fission reactions to begin nuclear fusion reactions that produce a large amount of the total energy output.
From an enginering standpoint, what is more beautiful than a device that produces reliable power cheaply with minimal maintenance and no pollution? We can spend billions on fusion and it may turn out to be a dead end, or we can spend millions on wind turbines and enjoy energy independence.
Its electric charge is what allows confinement by magnetic forces. Like the discovery of fire, the spread of agriculture, or the industrial revolution, viable energy from fusion will begin a new age of mankind.
The Polywell uses an electric field to heat ions to fusion conditions. The good news is that the first round of challenges are clearly defined, and motivations for meeting them are strong, as fusion fuels offer the irresistible combination of abundant supply with minimum environmental consequences. Now the process of commercialisation of this technology is underway. Fusion, solar, and wind need a sustained 50 year investment of more than 1 trillion dollars to get us where we need to be worldwide.
Problems with materials can be the showstopper as well as problems with the plasma and nuclear physics. Polywell can probably good work in pinch pulse mode, but will need for start reaction put more energy, then get from reaction, what is similar energy as today tokamak. Current studies have been small in scale to study and perfect the Polywell containment concept.
And, if you make the radius much more than 1. Department of Defense. I am now a 47 year old Electrical Engineer and I am still just as enthusiastic and eager to find out when the first viable fusion reaction in which there is a net energy gain is demonstrated. Since hydrogen bombs need a fission trigger to initiate the reaction, maybe fusion reactors also need a fission trigger to initiate the reaction.
If I have my information correct, the majorit of the power in France comes from nuclear reactors that run on fission reactions. Please contact me about the position. The Polywell device — like the Farmsworth-Hirsch fusor — is a continuous fusion device, and is not pulsed.
The environment inside an operating jet engine is absolutely hellish requiring materials at the very limit of our technology; and the environment inside of an operating Polywell will be just as bad. Materials like ceramics become more attractive technically to consider than high-Z metals for reducing the masses of neutron-activated materials such as used at or just behind the first wall that then would have to be handled, treated and disposed of as nuclear waste.
Nuclear energy fusion and fission deal with break bonds between nucleon. About the only way a tokamak would be weapons-relevant would be to use it as a high-energy neutron source for fissile fuel breeding; this is actually a pretty interesting proposal, since you could use the fusion plant to breed plutonium fuel for fission reactors.
EMC2 FUSION DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Cost of Be Electrodes. Robert Bussard proposed a hybrid concept using magnetic and electrostatic spherical containment to support fusion reaction. For 6 million the DOD took away all knowledge of clean safe energy from The People, virtually assured a non viable product, and was able to keep massive funding to D-T fusion Thermonuclear Weaponsand allows continued experiments for the development of thermonuclear weapons Bunker Buster B I believe that inertial fusion has a rocky path to a power plant, mostly because of the pulsed nature inherent to the concept.
Efforts under this Recovery Act award will validate the basic physics of the plasma fusion polywell concept, as well as provide the Navy with data for potential applications of polywell fusion.
Whilst Focus Fusion does create antiparallel beams of oppositely charged particles directly, negating the need for inefficient turbines, it is an inherently pulse-based device and in this sense shares many of the disadvantages of the inertial confinement devices such as NIF. Furthermore I thought Todd Rider also at MIT proved that aneutronic fuel cycles were impossible although this was for plasmas in thermal equilibrium and I am not familiar enough with Focus Fusion to know whether it would avoid a Maxwellian plasma and be able to achieve fusion without thermalisation.
Short term thinking could have killed each of these. Focus Fusion is in theory more efficient, since it is supposed to produce electricity directly.Developing a car-sized fusion energy generator to replace fossil fuel power plants and end climate change.
Fusion reactors emit no greenhouse gases and leave behind little to no nuclear waste. Our world is in need of an environmentally friendly energy source with fusion being the perfect fit.
The energy produced through nuclear fusion will never be exhausted as the fusion fuel used, deuterium gas, is widely abundant on earth; because of this, fusion could power humanity for millions of years. Up until now, most fusion ventures have been developed in large, capital intensive projects. Progressive Fusion Solutions is taking a radically different approach which cuts the cost of fusion tremendously. Being 17 at the time, Sam is one of the youngest in the world to have achieved this, however, in the following years, Sam expanded his reactor project to found Progressive Fusion Solutions, PFS, with the goal of inventing a compact and inexpensive fusion reactor to provide endless, clean, and safe power to society.
Nuclear fusion is the process of slamming two light atoms, such as hydrogen, together to form a new atoms, through which energy is released. As a power source, this process is safe, clean, reliable, and uses abundant fuel. Often coined as the holy grail of energy, nuclear fusion has no downsides, apart from the fact that no net-gain produces more energy than it consumes reactor has been made yet.
Most of the fusion industry is focused on massive, and billion-dollar reactor concepts to solve fusion. However, PFS is focusing on compact and inexpensive methods, which allows for a quicker time to market.
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Subscribe to our Newsletter! Donate to Progressive Fusion Solutions. Thanks for submitting!The polywell was a proposed design for a fusion reactor using an electric field to heat ions to fusion conditions. Research was conducted and prototypes built between the s and The concept was taken further by physicist Robert Bussard. His company, EMC2, Inc. Current research by the University of Sydney seems to show that the design is impractical or impossible in practice.
The design was related to the fusorthe high beta fusion reactorthe magnetic mirrorand the biconic cusp. A set of electromagnets generates a magnetic field that traps electrons. This creates a negative voltage, which attracts positive ions. As the ions accelerate towards the negative center, their kinetic energy rises. Ions that collide at high enough energies can fuse.
A Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor consists of two wire cages, one inside the other, often referred to as grids, that are placed inside a vacuum chamber. The outer cage has a positive voltage versus the inner cage. A fuel, typically, deuterium gas, is injected into this chamber. It is heated past its ionization temperaturemaking positive ions. The ions are positive and move towards the negative inner cage.
Those that miss the wires of the inner cage fly through the center of the device at high speeds and can fly out the other side of the inner cage. As the ions move outward, a Coulomb force impels them back towards the center. Over time, a core of ionized gas can form inside the inner cage. Ions pass back and forth through the core until they strike either the grid or another nucleus. Most nucleus strikes do not result in fusion.Polywell fusion, a type of electrostatic confinement fusionhad years of US Navy development finance behind it.
Even now, although its founder has died, there is ongoing research underway with later versions of it. Due to its design, it had the possibility of generating significant alternative energy and being used as a propulsion unit - one of the reasons for the Navy's interest. With its goal of using aneutronic fuels it also held out the promise of being very safe.
The idea follows from an apparatus that is still widely used for neutron production. The inventor of television, Philo T Farnsworthdeveloping ideas for vaccuum tubes found electrons being suspended in the tube between two electrodes.
This was a sieve-like spherical grid that when charged could hold electrons or ions depending on the charge of the grid. An improvement on this was the Elmore-Tuck-Watson fusor with a negatively-charged internal grid surrounded by a positively charged external grid or wall. All this was confined in a vaccuum. Electrons shot into the system tended to accumulate at the centre of the sphere, repelled by the negatively charged grid. If positively charged ions were shot into this system they would be drawn into the highly negatively-charged electron well.
As their momentum caused them to pass through the electron cloud, they would slow down and be drawn back, oscillating about the centre. Every thousand or so passes two ions would be likely to collide and some of these could produce a nuclear fusion reaction. The grid structure itself created problems with the repeated passes back and forth of the ions.
Any collision with the grid would cause a loss of energy for the colliding ion, reducing its effectiveness. Also the transferred energy would cause the grid to heat up and ultimately melt. Due to these limitations an end point where more energy could be generated than it took to drive it could not be reached with this design. However fusion would occur and produce neutrons.
The design is still used today for neutron production. A number people have created their own fusors, including a now famous youngster Taylor Wilson who even had the chance to present his project at the White House.
He was aware of the fusor design and its limitations and recommended the US pursue a fusion program with the Russian-led tokamak design. Around he had become famous for his idea of the Bussard ramjet rocket propulsion system which found its way into a number of science fiction stories.
A variation using matter and anti-matter formed the basis for the drive of the Star Trek starships. In view of the slow progress with results from the tokamak he began revisiting ideas of the fusor design. Knowing the problems there were with heating of the grid, in January he arrived at an idea for a more open but still essentially spherical structure to confine a well of electrons.
For a very lucid explanation of fusion, its benefits, and the process of developing the Polywell Fusion apparatus the Google Tech Talk he did on Nov 9less than a year before his death on Oct 6,is invaluable.
Here we have emc2 fusion power! Bussard's idea was for a polyhedron of rings which have generally been of six sides forming more of a cube. He ideally wanted a twelve-sided polyhedron for his WB8 machine, although the older configuration was ultimately chosen.Nuclear fusion power is considered the ultimate energy source because of its nearly inexhaustible supply of cheap fuels, intrinsic safety, zero emissions and lack of long-lived radioactive waste.
In this talk, I will introduce the Polywell fusion concept that may offer a low cost and rapid development path to power the world economically and sustainably. As conceived by Dr. Robert Bussard at EMC2 inthe Polywell fusion concept combines electric fusion with magnetic cusp confinement. This allows the Polywell reactor to be small, stable, and highly efficient.
The successful development of Polywell reactor hinged on validating magnetic cusp confinement. Finally, EMC2 carried out an experiment that demonstrated dramatically improved high-energy electron confinement in a magnetic cusp system in late I will present a roadmap to complete the proof-of-principle test toward a net power producing Polywell fusion reactor. He has received his Ph. At Los Alamos, Dr. Park worked on a variety of projects from low temperature plasma source development for materials applications to electrostatic fusion neutron generators.
Polywell Nuclear Fusion, Boston
Share this page:. Speaker Jaeyoung Park. Affiliation EMC2.
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