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Fusion progress?

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#1 Andy Taylor

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:59 PM

Here

#2 Qwickdraw

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:00 PM

"the amount of energy released through the fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel - the first time this had been achieved at any fusion facility in the world."

Is this stated this way to fool people into thinking a real milestone was reached or should it have been stated "exceeded the amount of energy USED to power the fusion reaction", a very big difference.

#3 groz

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:31 PM

The article is very clear, less energy was created that it took to power the lasers.

Fusion was 20 years in the future, back when I was a kid and fission power plants were the vogue. It's now 40 years later, and fusion is still 'about 20 years out'.

#4 Ekyprotic

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:57 AM

and our manned missions still have not progressed beyond the Moon (though the planned one way trip to Mars may change that in the next 10 years)

moral of the story- human progress has slowed to a crawl.

#5 Charlie B

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:45 AM

moral of the story- human progress has slowed to a crawl.


Human progress has always progressed in bursts. During the dark ages, it really slowed to a crawl. There is still significant progress in other areas that may ultimately be applicable to fusion, spaceflight etc. Don't equate our current US budgetary problems and political lack of will to explore to human progress.

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Charlie B

#6 llanitedave

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:23 AM

Actually, in materials and electronics and biology, human progress has exploded.

In other, less tangible, non-technological areas, it does sometimes appear to have ground to a halt or moved backwards.

It all depends on how you define "progress".

#7 llanitedave

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:32 AM

The article is very clear, less energy was created that it took to power the lasers.

Fusion was 20 years in the future, back when I was a kid and fission power plants were the vogue. It's now 40 years later, and fusion is still 'about 20 years out'.


Of course, fusion wasn't really 20 years in the future then. That meme is often used to minimize or negate whatever real progress is actually being made. Fusion turned out to be much, much harder than anyone anticipated when it was first being envisioned. After all, it worked in H-bombs with early 1950's technology, how hard could it be?

The progress that we have made is real, though. The models are much more sophisticated, our understanding of what is happening at the micro level has improved tremendously. And, to paraphrase Edison, we've found thousands of ways that don't work.

What's being reported is still less than break-even, but it's a real, tangible step in that direction that hadn't been made before. Even when we get to break-even, there's still a tremendous amount of work to be done to figure out how to recover that energy and efficiently convert it to electricity while preserving the materials of the containment vessel. And then there will be the challenge of constructing the plants economically and in realistic sizes. It's going to be a long time before fusion really becomes practical, but I'm not going to count it out as a viable future energy source.

#8 The Mighty Mo

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:26 AM

The article is very clear, less energy was created that it took to power the lasers.

Fusion was 20 years in the future, back when I was a kid and fission power plants were the vogue. It's now 40 years later, and fusion is still 'about 20 years out'.


I've heard the same thing for over 50 years now. I'm not holding my breath that efficient, self-sustaining fusion will be realized in my lifetime.

#9 penguinx64

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 06:12 PM

I doubt I'll be driving a Fusion powered Toyota Prius in my lifetime.

#10 ColoHank

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 09:17 PM

I doubt I'll be driving a Fusion powered Toyota Prius in my lifetime.



Ah, the dreams of limitless power are sweet, indeed. But if fusion power becomes a reality, it won't be cheap. Rest assured that start-up costs will be huge, and whoever foots the bill and owns the means of producing that power (probably one or more of today's familiar multinational energy conglomerates) will be in a position to stick it to the rest of us. In other words, don't look for a reduction in your electric bill.

#11 The Mighty Mo

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:12 PM

I doubt I'll be driving a Fusion powered Toyota Prius in my lifetime.


No, but I'm still hoping GM will restart their Hydrogen car program they were forced to stop some years back to build the Volt. Or maybe someone else will pick it up and continue the work and bring it to conclusion and introduction. That would be such a good, clean, solution for transportation.

#12 Andy Taylor

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 04:47 AM

More news

#13 Pess

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:15 AM

[quote name="ColoHank"] [quote]
I doubt I'll be driving a Fusion powered Toyota Prius in my lifetime.

[/quote]

We need an efficient catalyst for fusion. Perhaps someway to produce copious amounts of Muons or figure a way to allow them to persist to catalyze fusion longer.

Or maybe there is something in the LENR's that we don't understand but may eventually become practical.

Hot Fusion is always going to require big, expensive Industrial sized facilities when it becomes practical. If we can find a way to catalyze it at lower temps, then maybe we can have a Mr. Fusion power our Prius.


Pesse (Confused fusion) Mist

#14 groz

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 02:03 PM

No, but I'm still hoping GM will restart their Hydrogen car program they were forced to stop some years back to build the Volt. Or maybe someone else will pick it up and continue the work and bring it to conclusion and introduction. That would be such a good, clean, solution for transportation.


Take a quick peek where industrial hydrogen comes from. It's extracted from natural gas, doesn't appear magically out of thin air. It's got exactly the same 'clean' footprint as any natural gas burning energy source. The real difference, it just moves the 'unclean' part from the tailpipe, to the hydrogen producer.

This is the same with most folks hyping various 'clean' energy sources for transportation, they dont follow the entire chain, and understand that moving the emissions from the tailpipe to somewhere else, doesn't eliminate them, just moves them.

#15 davidpitre

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 02:54 PM


It's got exactly the same 'clean' footprint as any natural gas burning energy source. The real difference, it just moves the 'unclean' part from the tailpipe, to the hydrogen producer.

Your point is correct, but , unless I'm mistaken, the above is not true. Hydrogen fuel cells are considerably more efficient than any internal combustion, such that from the same amount of natural gas used, hydrogen will produce quite a bit less carbon dioxide.

#16 maugi88

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 03:26 PM



It's got exactly the same 'clean' footprint as any natural gas burning energy source. The real difference, it just moves the 'unclean' part from the tailpipe, to the hydrogen producer.

Your point is correct, but , unless I'm mistaken, the above is not true. Hydrogen fuel cells are considerably more efficient than any internal combustion, such that from the same amount of natural gas used, hydrogen will produce quite a bit less carbon dioxide.


Water is the exhaust from a fuel cell. I don't believe they combust the hydrogen but produce electricity with it. I think. :question:

#17 Pess

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 04:02 PM



It's got exactly the same 'clean' footprint as any natural gas burning energy source. The real difference, it just moves the 'unclean' part from the tailpipe, to the hydrogen producer.

Your point is correct, but , unless I'm mistaken, the above is not true. Hydrogen fuel cells are considerably more efficient than any internal combustion, such that from the same amount of natural gas used, hydrogen will produce quite a bit less carbon dioxide.


Water is the exhaust from a fuel cell. I don't believe they combust the hydrogen but produce electricity with it. I think. :question:



You guys are missing his point. While Hydrogen fuel cells are the ultimate in 'clean' running--they only produce water as their 'combustion product'. The Hydrogen has to come from somewhere.

Right now about 80% of hydrogen comes from reacting Methane gas in a couple of stages with the result that you end up with Carbon Dioxide & Hydrogen gas.

So while the 'Hydrogen' itself is a clean burning fuel, the method of Hydrogen production still requires the use of fossil fuels and the production of Carbon dioxide that--well--is not so clean.

Pesse (We still need a Mr. Fusion) Mist

#18 The Mighty Mo

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 04:14 PM

So while the 'Hydrogen' itself is a clean burning fuel, the method of Hydrogen production still requires the use of fossil fuels and the production of Carbon dioxide that--well--is not so clean.


So what, neither are electric vehicles like the Volt or Leaf. Where does the electricity to charge them comes from? And what about the environmental concerns to make batteries? Seems until fusion is ever practically realized, which I'm not looking to happen in my lifetime, good old coal and gas are our best and safest solutions.

#19 maugi88

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 04:26 PM

Yeah, you are not going to find anything ever that doesn't have some kind of carbon footprint. Even if your running on nothing but wind. The product will have been built somewhere using processes and power that puts CO2 in the atmosphere. Didn't see the need to point it out as it is unavoidable. It did seem to me the poster I quoted thought the Hydrogen was being combusted, so I did misunderstand. I didn't miss the original point and was not responding to it.

#20 llanitedave

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 05:42 PM

So while the 'Hydrogen' itself is a clean burning fuel, the method of Hydrogen production still requires the use of fossil fuels and the production of Carbon dioxide that--well--is not so clean.


So what, neither are electric vehicles like the Volt or Leaf. Where does the electricity to charge them comes from? And what about the environmental concerns to make batteries? Seems until fusion is ever practically realized, which I'm not looking to happen in my lifetime, good old coal and gas are our best and safest solutions.


Coal needs to drop out of the acceptability column as soon as possible. Solar, fission (nuclear "classic") and wind can replace it. The idea that nuclear has been sidelined due to environmental concerns is one of the great ironies of our time.

#21 The Mighty Mo

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 06:06 PM

I agree with most of what you say Dave, except for the first sentence; although I'm less convinced each day how much value solar can really provide, esp after the winter we've had. But much as I keep typing and re-editing this reply, the less I'm able to see how to bring it back to fusion. So at risk of hijacking the thread, I'll just conclude by saying I fear we're left to stumble along unless we can obtain sustainable stable fusion.

#22 maugi88

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 06:48 PM

I don't see the US stopping using coal for decades at least. Even when we quit, developing countries will keep on burning it for several more decades, unless we run out.

In my area there sure are a lot of wind farms. That's a good thing. The only nuclear power plant was shut down years ago. The local three plants are coal burning, will remain so for my lifetime I expect.

Why we don't have water driven turbines in the Mississippi I will never understand. It is constantly moving, why not tap into it? You would think a pod turbine could be placed just about anywhere on the grid. Especially since the three local power plants are right on the river. Maybe the thick sand content in the water is too hard on them?

#23 llanitedave

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 07:55 PM

I agree with most of what you say Dave, except for the first sentence; although I'm less convinced each day how much value solar can really provide, esp after the winter we've had. But much as I keep typing and re-editing this reply, the less I'm able to see how to bring it back to fusion. So at risk of hijacking the thread, I'll just conclude by saying I fear we're left to stumble along unless we can obtain sustainable stable fusion.


And I agree that we're fated to stumble along unless and until fusion becomes a reality -- and maybe even then. As for solar, there's really only one drawback at the moment, and that's how to store the energy during times when it's not being generated. Battery technology has simply not caught up with generation technology. Solar technology has improved significantly recently, and the prices have also dropped. Winter or not, solar will add oodles of value -- but unfortunately it will wait on that battery breakthrough before it can achieve its full potential. Even so, it's still worth it if fossil fuels are only being used intermittently.

#24 The Mighty Mo

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 08:45 PM

That brings up a good question, since I've not researched it lately. But what is the efficiency of the panels these days? i.e. - how well do they perform on cloudy days? Are they able to provide sufficient charge to power the average home using only indirect daylight?

#25 ColoHank

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 11:53 AM

If I were king, building codes would specify that every new home and business be equipped with solar panels and oriented to maximize their effectiveness, at least in those parts of the realm where there's abundant sunshine. I'd probably require geothermal heating and cooling, as well.

But I'm not king...

...yet.






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