Lockheed claims fusion breakthrough

KitemanSA
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunk Works claims cheap HOT fusion devi

Post by KitemanSA » Mar 10, 2013 5:33 am

Correction: $300k for 5MW.
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Cyril R
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunk Works claims cheap HOT fusion devi

Post by Cyril R » Mar 10, 2013 6:47 am

KitemanSA wrote:Correction: $300k for 5MW.
Is anyone buying this? That's $60/kWe. An electrical generator alone would cost more than that!

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunk Works claims cheap HOT fusion devi

Post by KitemanSA » Mar 10, 2013 8:32 am

That is one of their main selling points, no thermodynamic cycle. It is all direct conversion, though I think he may have his HV electronics priced a bit low.
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Lars
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunk Works claims cheap HOT fusion devi

Post by Lars » Mar 10, 2013 10:53 am

This is presented by a physicist not a project manager - cost estimates here have no meaning.
This technology is far to immature to fuss over costs yet.

The first question to answer is if the basic physics work.
We can be optimistic for the cost since the physical size is modest but real estimates will come much later.

Once the physics are shown to work then we need to start the engineering.

With a device that small and that much power you have enormous power density. A trivial power loss will destroy the device. It is so small compared to the power levels that even a 0.1% power loss into the device will make for quite an engineering challenge to remove the heat fast enough to keep the device at a temperature where it has a plausible lifetime.

One encouraging thing is that contrary to many others they are willing to talk pretty openly about how they do things. This sets them apart from the Italian nickle hydrogen scheme.

So, if I had the funding authority, I'd ask other plasma physicists to review their work and likely provide funding for the basic research. I would ask them to stop talking about the engineering development program as they have no expertize in that area and such speculations are certain to be wrong and used against them in the future (power to cheap to measure?).

Even if the plasma physics work out I think the chances are good that the engineering challenges will prove very daunting and take much more time to address.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunk Works claims cheap HOT fusion devi

Post by Cyril R » Mar 10, 2013 11:06 am

KitemanSA wrote:That is one of their main selling points, no thermodynamic cycle. It is all direct conversion, though I think he may have his HV electronics priced a bit low.
So these guys are claiming a working practical hot fusion reactor that costs less than a bunch of copper coil.

Yet somewhow, other groups will billion dollar funding can't get it to work.

Gee whiz. Those thousands of the smartest scientists and engineers, from the world's finest national labs and universities, with billions of dollars already spent, working on hot fusion of many different forms, but can't get it done, must all be incompetent morons.

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Lockheed claims fusion breakthrough

Post by alexterrell » Oct 15, 2014 3:43 pm

Lockheed announces breakthrough on nuclear fusion energy

No mention of the technology, but Lockheed is a pretty serious company.

NickL
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Re: Lockhhed claims fusion breakthrough

Post by NickL » Oct 15, 2014 6:17 pm

A little more technical info:

Aviation Week: Skunk Works Reveals Compact Fusion Reactor Details

Seems like fusion breakthroughs always turns out to be less than meets the eye; anyone here have an informed clue whether this is a credible thing?

E Ireland
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Re: Lockhhed claims fusion breakthrough

Post by E Ireland » Oct 15, 2014 6:50 pm

I know someone doing research in plasma physics at Griefswald - I will try and contact him.
We were talking about this a few days ago and he was sceptical that they were actually going to get anywhere.

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Kirk Sorensen
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Re: Lockhhed claims fusion breakthrough

Post by Kirk Sorensen » Oct 15, 2014 9:00 pm

After watching a video about the research it definitely appears to be "hot" fusion....no "LENR" claims here. Also no claim that they are transcending electrostatic repulsion or other immediate gotchas.

pstudier
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Re: Lockhhed claims fusion breakthrough

Post by pstudier » Oct 15, 2014 11:05 pm

This appears to be a Magnetic Mirror design, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_mirror. People have pretty much given up on them decades ago.
Last edited by pstudier on Oct 15, 2014 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rc1111
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Re: Lockhhed claims fusion breakthrough

Post by rc1111 » Oct 15, 2014 11:14 pm

And then there is this to consider...

http://www.businessinsider.com/scientis ... on-2014-10

John Tegland
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Re: Lockhhed claims fusion breakthrough

Post by John Tegland » Oct 15, 2014 11:42 pm

50 yrs ago they gave us the SR 71.
Which was a stunning achievement.

If they have done it again with fusion,
I'll take it!

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Re: Lockhhed claims fusion breakthrough

Post by alexterrell » Oct 16, 2014 3:40 am

rc1111 wrote:And then there is this to consider...

http://www.businessinsider.com/scientis ... on-2014-10
Which links to this:
http://www.businessinsider.com/how-lock ... ks-2014-10

Which gives some clues....

One of the articles says the design is very complex, but if it's small enough, they could maybe print it.

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Re: Lockhhed claims fusion breakthrough

Post by Cthorm » Oct 16, 2014 8:26 am

The aviation week article mentions they'll breed fuel in the reactor. Since it's a D-T device, that suggests to me they'll use a Li6 blanket. Keep in mind that Lockheed itself did not use the phrase "breakthrough," that was the press; after all they haven't built a device yet so this is just a proposal looking for partners.

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Re: Lockhhed claims fusion breakthrough

Post by Cyril R » Oct 16, 2014 3:44 pm

Sort of mixed feelings about this one. Increasing plasma density is definately an advantage. This is one of the big downsides of ITER. Its operating on a whiff of cloud which is bad for economics. Clouds are no good for power generation. If you can make an ITER size reactor that made 10000 MWt rather than the ITER's 500 MWt that is a good way to get economy of scale.

Still the basic cost problems and reliability issues are the same, and materials issues are far, far worse (since the number of fast neutrons per m2 are increased greatly over ITER the neutron damage issues are extreme).

And if you operate at a plasma pressure that is at the limit of confinement... well we don't operate nuclear fission reactor pressure vessels near their rupture strength for very good reasons. Safety margin is GOOD. Taking it away and operate on near 0% margin or so is BAD.

Still the name of Lockheed is of some boost to the idea.

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