January 04, 2007

Fusion sooner

Dr Robert Bussard has been awarded the Outstanding Technology of the Year award for is new type of Fusor, a type of simple cheap fusion reactor originally invented by Philo T. Farnsworth in the 1960's. His modifications have removed a major power drain and could well lead to a commercially generator within a decade, much sooner than Tokomacs such as Iter will be able to do. Most of his research for the last 10 years has been paid for by the military and so not published, so as the silver lining to the cloud of that money stream drying up he has now released it. There is also a video of a talk that he gave for Google about the prospects of fusion power. One of the really good things about the Fusor concept is that it can be used with fuels that won't burn in a Tokomac as Tokomacs cannot get hot enough, such as Hydrogen Boron fuel. Using this fuel the energy of the reaction is released in electrically charged helium nuclii and so can be converted directly to electricity without the need for turbines so allowing for much greater efficiencies.


The Netsmith of the Adam Smith Institute (thanks for the link) has a worry that this could be like Cold Fusion. Don't be. The debates over Cold Fusion where as to whether it was producing fusion reactions at all, there is no such worry with a Fusor. They have been known to produce reactions since the 1960's and are used as the core of commercial neutron sources to fuse deuterium releasing neutrons. The problem is that, like every other fusion reactor in the world, the current designs consume more energy than they produce. This is a major problem, which Dr Buzzard's research may in time solve, and the various facets of it are outlined in Todd Harrison Ridder's paper Fundamental Limitations on Plasma Fusion Systems Not In Thermodynamic Equilibrium.


Blogger Erich J. Knight said...

I thought your readers would be interested in looking at these energy technologies:

Aneutronic Fusion: Here I am not talking about the big science ITER project taking thirty years, but the several small alternative plasma fusion efforts.

There are three companies pursuing hydrogen-boron plasma toroid fusion, Paul Koloc, Prometheus II, Eric Lerner, Focus Fusion and Clint Seward of Electron Power Systems

Vincent Page (a technology officer at GE!!) gave a presentation at the 05 6th symposium on current trends in international fusion research , which high lights the need to fully fund three different approaches to P-B11 fusion

He quotes costs and time to development of P-B11 Fusion as tens of million $, and years verses the many decades and ten Billion plus $ projected for ITER and other "Big" science efforts


The Navy Heats up "Cold Fusion" with Use of CR-39 Detectors in LENR Experiment:

Extraordinary Evidence - "Cold Fusion"

The field of low energy nuclear reactions, historically known as cold fusion, has never had simple physical evidence of the claimed nuclear processes to physically place in the hands of doubters.

Until now.

Scientists at the U.S. Navy’s San Diego SPAWAR Systems Center have produced something unique in the 17-year history of the scientific drama historically known as cold fusion: simple, portable, highly repeatable, unambiguous, and permanent physical evidence of nuclear events using detectors that have a long track record of reliability and acceptance among nuclear physicists.

Using a unique experimental method called co-deposition, combined with the application of external electric and magnetic fields, and recording the results with standard nuclear-industry detectors, researchers have produced what may be the most convincing evidence yet in the pursuit of proof of low energy nuclear reactions.

New Energy Times, issue #19
"Extraordinary Evidence"

8:10 pm  

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