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Author Topic: First Light Fusion - Fully Charged  (Read 814 times)
dan_b
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« on: September 18, 2019, 09:22:30 AM »

New episode of Fully Charged last night was absolutely fascinating - a look into a nuclear fusion start-up based in a business park in Oxford

youtu.be/M1RsHQCMRTw

Quality programming - felt like Tomorrow's World of old
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2019, 08:07:09 PM »

Thought this was fantastic
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Philip R
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2019, 06:11:38 PM »

Tomorrows World. Raymond Baxter, Michael Rodd, William Woolard and James Burke, Thursday evenings BBC1 about 1920 hrs about 45 years ago, those were the days, before the bbc dumbed it down.

Nice to see technology developed in UK just down the road in Oxon many moons ago used today by UK researchers to explore inertial fusion.

The boss wants to use the Rankine cycle with steam turbines. Could use Brayton cycle instead and improve efficiency.

I wish them well with their R and D.

Philip R
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Nickel2
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2019, 09:26:23 AM »

Excellent report. No dumbing-down silly-speak or journalistic hyperbole. Well presented, and by very personable young lady. I didn't know this existed; I want to see and learn more!
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HalcyonRichard
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2019, 11:40:17 AM »

Very impressive stuff indeed. They are optimising the target but are getting 300 times energy out versus energy in already. And the steam generators are pretty standard. My worry is the challenge of doing this every 5 seconds in the lithium surrounded fusion chamber. How do they maintain the vacuum and precision of hitting the target with quite an energetic "explosion" happening every 5 seconds ? No indication of costs.  Wonder what the materials of the targets are and what each one costs.
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Nickel2
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2019, 12:10:20 PM »

It is 'proof of concept' at the moment, so development will be towards a continuous process with the associated containment and materials. Once the ability has been proved, the larger models will become more refined, without the earplug-necessitating noises and spaghetti rats-nest of plumbing and wiring, in the same way that every day batteries are no longer two dissimilar metals stuffed into a lemon.
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1.140kW mono south-facing at 49*
EpEver 4210A at 24v
24V 400 Ah battery. (4x200Ah FLA)
EpEver STI1000-24-230 pure sine inverter
Of course it'll work. (It hasn't caught fire yet).
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2019, 12:38:26 PM »

Very impressive stuff indeed. They are optimising the target but are getting 300 times energy out versus energy in already. And the steam generators are pretty standard. My worry is the challenge of doing this every 5 seconds in the lithium surrounded fusion chamber. How do they maintain the vacuum and precision of hitting the target with quite an energetic "explosion" happening every 5 seconds ? No indication of costs.  Wonder what the materials of the targets are and what each one costs.
They've got rather bigger problems than that - for instance their heating system is inherently horribly inefficient compared to magnetic confinement fusion. I do know one of the guys in the video, and he's pretty bright, but I'd sooner invest in YASA next door...
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HalcyonRichard
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2019, 02:13:39 PM »

It is 'proof of concept' at the moment
I know as I have worked in development all my life. They have the impact and energy output virtually cracked. They have the steam generators virtually off the shelf. What is needed is the trial system that is the one every 5 seconds. That's the bit I can see being harder and more problematic than getting the fusion too work. It take a lot to create the vaccuum to allow the high speed projectile to hit the target. That vacuumm is then compromised by the fusion explosion and vaporisation and disintergartion of target and projectile vapour and particles all over the place. Then a hew target and vacuum has to be created and the mess from the last fusion cleared out. All in 5 seconds. That to me is the hard bit - moving from a single proof of concept fusion to multiple high power continuous operation. I am sure they are working on it.
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Nickel2
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2019, 05:31:35 PM »

How would this compare to the Tokomak project?
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EpEver STI1000-24-230 pure sine inverter
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HalcyonRichard
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2019, 08:53:33 AM »

How would this compare to the Tokomak project?

There are quite a few Tokomak projects about and other fusion ones come to that. I think that nobody would have the detailed knowledge of the projects to know or even pick the front runners. Lots of lab experiments in operation and a few proof of concept models. None are anywhere near commercial operation. This despite "The first tokamak, the T-1, began operation in 1958." from Wiki. I would love this all to work but a lot of dedicated and intelligent scientists have not managed it in over 70 years.
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oliver90owner
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2019, 09:40:02 AM »

but a lot of dedicated and intelligent scientists have not managed it in over 70 years.

But they (most of them) did not have the latest technological advances at their disposal.  Development moves forward (but, admittedly, sometimes up a ‘dead end’).  We have to remain ever hopeful the developments will eventually lead to a practical outcome.  Otherwise, the outlook for human populations, on this planet, will become more tenuous.
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2019, 11:24:28 AM »

There are quite a few Tokomak projects about and other fusion ones come to that. I think that nobody would have the detailed knowledge of the projects to know or even pick the front runners. Lots of lab experiments in operation and a few proof of concept models. None are anywhere near commercial operation. This despite "The first tokamak, the T-1, began operation in 1958." from Wiki. I would love this all to work but a lot of dedicated and intelligent scientists have not managed it in over 70 years.
They've had quite a lot to do!
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HalcyonRichard
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2019, 12:16:12 PM »

I am not sure what the graph is telling us. But extrapolating the blue line - should there have been a fusion plant in operation abouy 2005 ? So by now we should have full commercial plants in operation. I think there is other factors in operation.  May be call it Sods law. Every 10 years we get 50% of the remaining effort completed. So we will never actually get there. Sad
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dan_b
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2019, 03:21:01 PM »

And Moore’s Law is on the wane now too
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2.18kWp 10x South facing, plus 4x West facing 880W

Mk1 ImmerSUN DHW diverter
4kW PowerVault Battery

Tesla Model 3 Long Range
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2019, 04:59:16 PM »

I am not sure what the graph is telling us. But extrapolating the blue line - should there have been a fusion plant in operation abouy 2005 ? So by now we should have full commercial plants in operation. I think there is other factors in operation.  May be call it Sods law. Every 10 years we get 50% of the remaining effort completed. So we will never actually get there. Sad
That's just the fusion triple product (confinement time x plasma pressure x temperature), it's the biggest single limitation but not the only one. The biggest single problem is funding:


There are other serious problems (notably that it's run by physicists not engineers), but that's the root cause of fusion being continually 40 years away.
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