First! Fusion Net Energy Gain

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kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
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"What does that have to do with this thread?" lol are you serious? Truth be told it's already near impossible for me to take you seriously ever since you rageshat yourself over me calling the WWE a "rope opera."


The froth, the rage, the abject ignorance... none of your posts are worth devoting real time too. Makes me hope for change. So, I think you should hit the books, do some legwork. I have recommendations if you're interested. If you're half as clever as you think you are, things should start clicking. I mean I hope so. Perhaps if you were familiar with China's love of Carl Schmitt (the Nazi) you'd be less inclined to carry their water, who knows.
 
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kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
27,533
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This. When we dont have to fight over energy or food… At some point maybe we wont?

So, little hypothetical for you: China suddenly attains energy and food security. Great.

So what happens next, with Taiwan? What happens with Senkakus? SCS? Okinawa? Kashmir? Ladakh? The Arctic? Space? The moon? All of this CCP agenda, it just magically evaporates?

You know, for more than 20 years I've been hearing other Americans preach about how China isn't a threat, how they aren't interested in war, that doing business with them will get them to open up and join the international community as a partner of the West. Woomp woomp, these Americans have been proven unequivocally incorrect. Everyone will have to excuse me if I don't agree with this new round of wishful Chinese soothsaying, particulary if it's from those who can't admit they were already wrong before.
 
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Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
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This is, what, a 10% energy gain? Energy gain needs to be somewhere around 200%, since conversion of heat energy to electricity is only about 30-40% efficient.

Then, fusion needs to be cheaper. This uses lots of very expensive lasers, mirrors, even expensive fuel. The target to beat is the cost of natural fusion power - the cost of solar panels plus battery storage. Both of which are getting cheaper.
 
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eelw

Diamond Member
Dec 4, 1999
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This is, what, a 10% energy gain? Energy gain needs to be somewhere around 200%, since conversion of heat energy to electricity is only about 30-40% efficient.

Then, fusion needs to be cheaper. This uses lots of very expensive lasers, mirrors, even expensive fuel. The target to beat is the cost of natural fusion power - the cost of solar panels plus battery storage. Both of which are getting cheaper.
Lol baby steps
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
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So, little hypothetical for you: China suddenly attains energy and food security. Great.

So what happens with Taiwan? What happens with Senkakus? SCS? Okinawa? Kashmir? Ladakh? The Arctic? Space? The moon? All of this CCP agenda, it just magically evaporates?

You know, for more than 20 years I've been hearing other Americans preach about how China isn't a threat, how they aren't interested in war, that doing business with them will get them to open up and join the international community as a partner of the West. Woomp woomp, these Americans have been proven unequivocally incorrect. Everyone will have to excuse me if I don't agree with this new round of wishful Chinese soothsaying, particulary if it's from those who can't admit they were already wrong before.

I know dude ... thats the fucking nightmare, the power balances currently in place in one giant interconnect game of dominos... I have no idea where all this would fall out.

Did you catch the new series "The man who fell to earth" this year? It deals in large part about just this.

But look at it from the other side, does that mean that we shouldnt if we could? Its seems to me to be one of those things that we're gonna make work or die trying.
 
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[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
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We don't win by helping China with their military advances either.

I would agree with you if we were dealing with a democracy, but helping the CCP take over a hemisphere is pretty fucking far from a win, sorry.
How is providing China with free energy/fusion energy going to help their military advances? And how exactly do you intend on keeping the technology away from them if the other half of the hemisphere has it? Hell, we couldn't even keep the lid on fission until we formed a near-global alliance to do it.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
14,299
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This is, what, a 10% energy gain? Energy gain needs to be somewhere around 200%, since conversion of heat energy to electricity is only about 30-40% efficient.

Then, fusion needs to be cheaper. This uses lots of very expensive lasers, mirrors, even expensive fuel. The target to beat is the cost of natural fusion power - the cost of solar panels plus battery storage. Both of which are getting cheaper.
H3 is cheap, we just need a reason to go get it.

You're correct on all other points though! Still gotta find a way to stuff CO2 back in the ground, too. Be worthwhile for a generational ship though!
 
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cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
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This is, what, a 10% energy gain? Energy gain needs to be somewhere around 200%, since conversion of heat energy to electricity is only about 30-40% efficient.

Then, fusion needs to be cheaper. This uses lots of very expensive lasers, mirrors, even expensive fuel. The target to beat is the cost of natural fusion power - the cost of solar panels plus battery storage. Both of which are getting cheaper.
I dont know how the exact math turns out but I imagine that you dont have to go super high over input before it scales to infinity (ok maybe not infinity, but you catch my drift).
 

eelw

Diamond Member
Dec 4, 1999
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I dont know how the exact math turns out but I imagine that you dont have to go super high over input before it scales to infinity (ok maybe not infinity, but you catch my drift).
But we’re not talking about sustained reaction here. It’s the lasers that are causing the atoms to fuse.
 
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kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
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How is providing China with free energy/fusion energy going to help their military advances?


Are you kidding me? Apart from militarizing everything they way they do, apart from the import constraints that frees them of? Wow. That's an answer that could range several pages, easily. Better question: how are you still acting like the current Chinese war machine got that way by indigenous ingenuity? I'm also not clear on why you seem to think energy isn't crucial for a military, particularly one from a country so strapped for it. Their stated goal is to build a super power class military by any and all means, for Taiwan but also for 're-aligning' the US led world order. If there is something since 2013 that points contrary to that, I am all ears.


And how exactly do you intend on keeping the technology away from them if the other half of the hemisphere has it? Hell, we couldn't even keep the lid on fission until we formed a near-global alliance to do it.

An alliance built on prerequisites isn't that alien of a concept is it? We do it with NATO, we do it with systems like F-35. Oversight, security, binding diplomatic commitments, functioning democracy, stable enough economy to handle to development costs, etc etc. Want the latest and greatest? Cool. Then get with the times and leave the 20th century, the new power source will be there waiting. It should be noted that like F-35, stealing data and having the tech and expertise to use it are two different things. Therein lies your answer.



I'll put my hypothetical out to anyone who wants to have a go at it:

China suddenly attains energy and food security. Great.

So what happens next, with Taiwan? What happens with Senkakus? SCS? Okinawa? Kashmir? Ladakh? The Arctic? Space? The moon? All of this CCP agenda, it just magically evaporates?



I'm not trying to downplay what is certainly a wonderful achievement, and I do hope it comes to fruition. Just, for the right users. Yes, I consider dictators prone to genocide and itching for war to be the wrong kind of user.
 
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Moonbeam

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Nov 24, 1999
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This is, what, a 10% energy gain? Energy gain needs to be somewhere around 200%, since conversion of heat energy to electricity is only about 30-40% efficient.

Then, fusion needs to be cheaper. This uses lots of very expensive lasers, mirrors, even expensive fuel. The target to beat is the cost of natural fusion power - the cost of solar panels plus battery storage. Both of which are getting cheaper.

I don't think this is right. If you have 10% more coming out than going in you can use 30 to 40 % of that and if that is say 3000 MW that not a bad deal for a single reactor. The problem I see is that the machinery is technically enormously complex and probably quite expensive whereas solar wind tide etc are fairly easy by comparison.

An issue with fusion and fission is that high energy particles cause damage to reactor materials.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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H3 is cheap, we just need a reason to go get it.

You're correct on all other points though! Still gotta find a way to stuff CO2 back in the ground, too. Be worthwhile for a generational ship though!

If we want to take carbon out of the air, it's doubtful we'll be able to do it cost-effectively without fusion.
 

Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
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Dec 11, 1999
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I don't think this is right. If you have 10% more coming out than going in you can use 30 to 40 % of that and if that is say 3000 MW that not a bad deal for a single reactor.

OK, say you put 1000 MW of electricity into a fusion reactor, and you get out 10% more energy. That's 1,100 MW of heat. You now have to run that through a heat engine to turn that into electricity. The best heat engines are about 60% efficient - you'd get 660 MW of electricity and 440 MW of waste heat out if the input was a two-stage gas turbine. Fusion does produce intense heat, so similar efficiency might be possible, eventually. Regular fission plants need a heat exchanger, so they can't get more than about 35% efficiency, from memory. If there isn't a NIMBY problem combined heat and power might find a use for some of that waste heat. But that's still at most 660 MW of electricity coming out which is less than the 1000 MW that was put in.
 
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woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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Have you guys been following China at all for the last 20 years? There is no divide between civil and private development and that of their military. Don't view China through the lens of American rules and culture. The country quite open about it's desire to do away with the world order America built has weaponized everything they said they wouldn't, and you guys want to give the CCP fusion technology?

Haha please

Are you under the impression that fusion reactors would have a military application? Fusion itself already has a military application. It's called the hydrogen bomb. Commercializing fusion has no potential to add another. Not unless there's a theory of which I'm unaware.
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
23,356
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I'm not trying to downplay what is certainly a wonderful achievement, and I do hope it comes to fruition. Just, for the right users. Yes, I consider dictators prone to genocide and itching for war to be the wrong kind of user.

Brings me to think of cases like arming tribal 'militias' in Somalia with assault rifles. Its like, if your society do not possess the capability of producing the alloys and the machinery to machine the parts of a high pressure combustion chamber ... you're probably not at an evolutionary point where AR's is going to be the solution to *anything*, quite the contrary.

An alliance built on prerequisites isn't that alien of a concept is it? We do it with NATO, we do it with systems like F-35. Oversight, security, binding diplomatic commitments, functioning democracy, stable enough economy to handle to development costs, etc etc. Want the latest and greatest? Cool. Then get with the times and leave the 20th century, the new power source will be there waiting.

- I agree with all of this. This is the way.
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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OK, say you put 1000 MW of electricity into a fusion reactor, and you get out 10% more energy. That's 1,100 MW of heat. You now have to run that through a heat engine to turn that into electricity. The best heat engines are about 60% efficient - you'd get 660 MW of electricity and 440 MW of waste heat out if the input was a two-stage gas turbine. Fusion does produce intense heat, so similar efficiency might be possible, eventually. Regular fission plants need a heat exchanger, so they can't get more than about 35% efficiency, from memory. If there isn't a NIMBY problem combined heat and power might find a use for some of that waste heat. But that's still at most 660 MW of electricity coming out which is less than the 1000 MW that was put in.

If you put 1000MW of electricity in and it is 10% efficient and it is really 10% out then you don't get 1100 MW of heat out but 1100 MW of electricity.
 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
27,533
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Are you under the impression that fusion reactors would have a military application? Fusion itself already has a military application. It's called the hydrogen bomb. Commercializing fusion has no potential to add another. Not unless there's a theory of which I'm unaware.

Are you under the impression that weapons are all they are interested in? What are tactics without logistics? Yes there may be some weapons development that could benefit from this technology. The more immediate benefit for a military bent on territorial expansion is for powering vessels and remote locations difficult to keep supplied, particularly if you plan on having laser weapons at some point. As I said earlier, the CCP would like very much for their agenda not to be constrained by importing middle eastern oil via the straits of Malacca. Quite the vulnerability.
 
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[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
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If we want to take carbon out of the air, it's doubtful we'll be able to do it cost-effectively without fusion.
At this point we can't do it cost effectively with fusion. We'd need some order-of-magnitude increases in capabilities of carbon scrubbers to even approach the idea of a fusion-powered carbon farm. Hell, we're closer to the fusion part of that than the scrubber part of that.
OK, say you put 1000 MW of electricity into a fusion reactor, and you get out 10% more energy. That's 1,100 MW of heat. You now have to run that through a heat engine to turn that into electricity. The best heat engines are about 60% efficient - you'd get 660 MW of electricity and 440 MW of waste heat out if the input was a two-stage gas turbine. Fusion does produce intense heat, so similar efficiency might be possible, eventually. Regular fission plants need a heat exchanger, so they can't get more than about 35% efficiency, from memory. If there isn't a NIMBY problem combined heat and power might find a use for some of that waste heat. But that's still at most 660 MW of electricity coming out which is less than the 1000 MW that was put in.
Eh? Condensing boilers are like 90% efficient. Steam turbines are above that. It's trivial to hook up thing that generates heat to water cycle that drives a turbine. That said, you'd need quite a bit above 10% net to make something like this worthwhile to build, but I bet if they hit 50% net they could build a prototype reactor and start looking for more efficiencies to build off of.
 

fskimospy

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Mar 10, 2006
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Are you under the impression that weapons are all they are interested in? What are tactics without logistics? Yes there may be some weapons development that could benefit from this technology. The more immediate benefit for a military bent on territorial expansion is for powering vessels and remote locations difficult to keep supplied, particularly if you plan on having laser weapons at some point. As I said earlier, the CCP would like very much for their agenda not to be constrained by importing middle eastern oil via the straits of Malacca. Quite the vulnerability.
Fission power sources already do all this.
 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
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Funny how 500 MJs of laser light only converted to 1.9 MJ of x-ray energy being directed to the deuterium/tritium pellet yielding 2.5 MJ of actual output energy. I guess we are just going to forget about the 498.1 MJ of wasted laser energy. At the LENR forum I visit, you would be called a charlatan for making an excess energy claim.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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Are you under the impression that weapons are all they are interested in? What are tactics without logistics? Yes there may be some weapons development that could benefit from this technology. The more immediate benefit for a military bent on territorial expansion is for powering vessels and remote locations difficult to keep supplied, particularly if you plan on having laser weapons at some point. As I said earlier, the CCP would like very much for their agenda not to be constrained by importing middle eastern oil via the straits of Malacca. Quite the vulnerability.

Well, first off, I'm pretty sure you thought that fusion had potential application as a weapon. And, as someone already pointed out, fission already accomplishes those specific purposes. But leaving all that aside, yes, fusion has an enormous economic benefit, and anything that has a direct economic benefit indirectly benefits the military.

So suppose China just keeps using fossil fuels. You would rather they do that than have fusion?
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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At this point we can't do it cost effectively with fusion. We'd need some order-of-magnitude increases in capabilities of carbon scrubbers to even approach the idea of a fusion-powered carbon farm. Hell, we're closer to the fusion part of that than the scrubber part of that.

I'm not going to disagree per se here. You may have done some reading on that topic that I have not. But we actually have CO2 scrubbers. We don't have fusion. So if you could expand on this or provide a link it might be helpful.
 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
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More thoughtful look at this new development.

What to know about DOE’s fusion ‘breakthrough’ - POLITICO

What are the key hurdles?
The ignition process that Lawrence Livemore scientists pioneered requires exacting maintenance of the laser cluster in between shots. A typical target costs $100,000 or more and requires hundreds of hours to construct, said British mathematician and author Arthur Turrell, who was present for one Lawrence Livermore shot.
Making this technology work on a commercial scale would escalate those requirements.
“Once you get a single shot working well, you have to repeat it, 10 times a second” to have a sustained commercial reaction, a senior DOE official said recently, speaking on condition of anonymity because DOE’s pilot plant program is in the confidential application stage. “That requires a laser that can fire 10 times a second. It is not fundamentally impossible, but it is very difficult from an engineering perspective.”
With tokamaks, reactors face the challenge of having to make their own fuel, breeding one of the hydrogen isotope fuels — tritium — inside the reactors. There also is a need to improve protection of the reactor from intense heat and neutron bombardment.

We are running out of time.
 
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