Fusion power on the grid within 15 years?

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Profile Wiggo "Socialist"
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Message 1923826 - Posted: 10 Mar 2018, 21:04:12 UTC

Nuclear fusion on brink of being realised, say MIT scientists.

Prof Howard Wilson, a plasma physicist at York University who works on different fusion projects, said: “The exciting part of this is the high-field magnets.”

Fusion works on the basic concept of forging lighter elements together to form heavier ones. When hydrogen atoms are squeezed hard enough, they fuse together to make helium, liberating vast amounts of energy in the process.

However, this process produces net energy only at extreme temperatures of hundreds of millions of degrees celsius – hotter than the centre of the sun and far too hot for any solid material to withstand.

To get around this, scientists use powerful magnetic fields to hold in place the hot plasma – a gaseous soup of subatomic particles – to stop it from coming into contact with any part of the doughnut-shaped chamber.

A newly available superconducting material – a steel tape coated with a compound called yttrium-barium-copper oxide, or YBCO – has allowed scientists to produce smaller, more powerful magnets. And this potentially reduces the amount of energy that needs to be put in to get the fusion reaction off the ground.

“The higher the magnetic field, the more compactly you can squeeze that fuel,” said Wilson.
Cheers.
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Profile Bob DeWoody
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Message 1923868 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 0:52:07 UTC

I did a term paper in college that in which, the scientists working on the power of the future (fusion) claimed that a working commercial fusion reactor was only 15-20 years in the future. That was 50 years ago. So, I ain't holding my breath or buying any stock just yet.
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required. This no longer applies in light of current events.
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Message 1923873 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 1:25:42 UTC

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Profile Bob DeWoody
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Message 1923877 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 1:50:18 UTC - in response to Message 1923873.  

The UK has one working now..

http://www.getintonuclear.com/single-post/2017/12/15/UKs-latest-nuclear-fusion-reactor-could-supply-the-grid-with-clean-power-by-2030

A working, commercially viable, fusion power generating plant?
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required. This no longer applies in light of current events.
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Message 1923878 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 1:57:14 UTC

Well fusion is the holly grail .
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Message 1923885 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 2:41:56 UTC - in response to Message 1923868.  

So, I ain't holding my breath or buying any stock just yet.

Me neither.
So far every experiment done for decades requires more input energy to get the process going than gaining some output energy.
I think though it happened in some experiments for a few seconds but by far from being enough to be used to distributing to any power grid.
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Message 1923896 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 4:44:51 UTC - in response to Message 1923885.  

So, I ain't holding my breath or buying any stock just yet.

Me neither.
So far every experiment done for decades requires more input energy to get the process going than gaining some output energy.
I think though it happened in some experiments for a few seconds but by far from being enough to be used to distributing to any power grid.

IIRC they finally have one demonstration of more out than in, but they can't run it long term. Too many parts degrade and the energy to make the replacement parts is more than the difference, so it is still a net loss.
Also once they have an operating equipment they need to be able to extract the energy, not just measure it and let it escape.
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Profile tullio Project Donor
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Message 1923947 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 12:43:03 UTC

A fusion reactor does not produce electricity, but only 14 MeV neutrons, which may be used to heat water and produce vapor. But neutrons can destroy any material including the vessel used to contain water, besides the "first wall". So I would not expect any fusion reactors to produce any electricity, and they would become radioactive in a very short time.
Tullio
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Message 1923950 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 13:27:28 UTC
Last modified: 11 Mar 2018, 13:39:37 UTC

Hmm... Tokamak Energy "only'" needs some more money to make it happen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW-B4BAfzfw
Tokamak Energy is a private company that is looking for further investment to make fusion available to the electric grid by 2030.

Well ITER have a lot of money funded by the EU and several other countries and what happens there?
Yes. So far no electricity.
The expected cost of ITER has risen from US$5 billion to US$20 billion, and the timeline for operation at full power was moved from the original estimate of 2016 to 2027.
ITER is not designed to produce electricity, but made as a proof of concept reactor for the later DEMO project.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER#Criticism
In 2012 European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) presented a roadmap to fusion power with a plan showing the dependencies of DEMO activities on ITER and IFMIF.[4]
Conceptual design to be complete in 2020 [4]:63
Engineering design complete, and decision to build, in 2030
Construction from 2031 to 2043
Operation from 2044, Electricity generation demonstration 2048
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEMOnstration_Power_Station
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Profile Bob DeWoody
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Message 1923951 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 13:43:29 UTC - in response to Message 1923878.  

Well fusion is the holly grail .

And just like the "Holy Grail", so far an unachievable goal. I have no doubt that some day the multiple breakthroughs needed to build a working profitable commercial fusion based power plant will fall into place, but probably not within my lifetime.
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required. This no longer applies in light of current events.
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Profile tullio Project Donor
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Message 1923998 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 18:56:48 UTC

A huge fusion reactor above our heads,the Sun, gives us 1360 W/square meter of radiant energy. A photovoltaic cell with a conversion efficiency of 20%,taking int account the absorption of atmosphere, gives us 200 W of electricity. Today.
Tullio
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Profile Byron Leigh Hatch @ team Carl Sagan
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Message 1924000 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 19:04:09 UTC - in response to Message 1923998.  

A huge fusion reactor above our heads,the Sun, gives us 1360 W/square meter of radiant energy. A photovoltaic cell with a conversion efficiency of 20%,taking int account the absorption of atmosphere, gives us 200 W of electricity. Today.
Tullio

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Profile Bob DeWoody
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Message 1924001 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 19:05:51 UTC

I like solar power but there is the night to contend with.
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required. This no longer applies in light of current events.
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moomin
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Message 1924036 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 20:27:18 UTC - in response to Message 1924001.  

But doesn't Daylight Saving Time fix that? Hehe:)
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Profile Gordon Lowe
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Message 1924043 - Posted: 11 Mar 2018, 21:09:39 UTC

Star in a bottle
The mind is a weird and mysterious place
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Profile William Rothamel
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Message 1924095 - Posted: 12 Mar 2018, 1:12:28 UTC - in response to Message 1924000.  

A watt is an indication of power. i.e. work per unit of time. (joule/second) A watt hour (or kilowatt hour) is the unit of work (energy) that we are concerned about and pay the mis-named "Power Company" for.
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Message 1924131 - Posted: 12 Mar 2018, 6:51:14 UTC - in response to Message 1924001.  

I like solar power but there is the night to contend with.


There is a need for storage.
Tullio
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Profile Wiggo "Socialist"
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Message 1924132 - Posted: 12 Mar 2018, 6:57:50 UTC - in response to Message 1924001.  

I like solar power but there is the night to contend with.

Oh dear, pessimists, that's where things like these come in handy and there are also domestic wind turbines that fill the other gap.

Cheers.
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Profile Chris S Crowdfunding Project Donor*Special Project $75 donor
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Message 1924139 - Posted: 12 Mar 2018, 8:09:16 UTC - in response to Message 1924132.  

Oh dear pessimists


Oh dear geeks.

Tesla Powerwall is nothing more or less than solar panels re-marketed. They DON'T work at night.
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Message 1924150 - Posted: 12 Mar 2018, 10:54:51 UTC - in response to Message 1924139.  

Oh dear pessimists


Oh dear geeks.

Tesla Powerwall is nothing more or less than solar panels re-marketed. They DON'T work at night.

No the panels don't work at night dude, but the battery part does. :-p

Cheers.
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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Fusion power on the grid within 15 years?


 
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