Friday, November 13, 2009

Tri Alpha Fusion






This item is almost a for the record type posting. These folks have had ample funding for three years while their prime competitors have barely begun to be properly funded. My sense is that no one has a clear idea about what they are doing.



Quite likely, the funding was way ahead of any science and that part is very much in the process of catching up. The snippets we have here are what would be expected from proof of concept stage prototypes.



At least now they are saying that they are close to presenting a working device of some sort. This makes them one of three groups grasping for the brass ring of fusion. This is very encouraging because top researchers in this field do not launch privately funded efforts on a total long shot. Certainly the polywell and fusion focus devices are not long shots at all. Thus we can presume that this is also a true prospect.



All this is good news for fusion energy prospects. There is now enough funding momentum to support a wide range of additional protocols and follow up experiments all aimed at taming fusion.





November 11, 2009



Secretive Nuclear Fusion Company May Reveal Details in 2010



Tri-alpha energy may reveal some results or technical details in 2010



Patents related to the Tri-alpha energy work



Back in 2007, Tri Alpha raised $40 million



http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/11/secretive-nuclear-fusion-company-may.html



Unlike many government-sponsored efforts, however, Tri Alpha is working with fusion reactions that produce fewer neutrons and, thus, less radiation, Mr. Rothrock says. The company also uses a different method for containing and controlling fusion reactions, which happen at million-degree temperatures. “It’s a long way from reality, but the trend line is going in the right direction,” he says. “The science is rock-solid; the calculations continue to bear out the results.”




Mr. Prouty estimates it will take his company “not 15 to 20 [years], but not 3 to 5 either” to go from the research stage to power generation.




TriAlpha is the brainchild of Norman Rostoker, a senior fusion researcher. He had previously collaborated with another researcher, Maglitch, on the MIGMA approach to advanced fuels. This approach involved shooting two counter-circulating beams of ions at each other in a confining magnetic field. It was not very workable, as the ion densities would always be very low. Rostoker combined this idea with another device, the Field Reversed Configuration, sending the beams into the FRC.




The FRC is essentially a large-scale plasmoid centimeters rather microns across, with much lower densities and magnetic fields than with the DPF. It does not benefit from the magnetic field effect as its field are far too low. Scientifically, TriAlpha’s results so far are very modest compared with focus fusion’s. The average ion energy, a measure of plasma temperature is a few 10’s of eV. This is a factor of 10,000 short of what is required for pB11 fusion. Of course, we have already achieved the needed ion energies (100keV) with focus fusion, so in this sense are way ahead. In addition, it is by no means guaranteed that their confinement will remain stable if they can reach higher temperatures.




Dr. Hendrik Monkhorst of the Quantum Theory Project and his collaborator, Dr. Norman Rostoker of UC Irvine, designed a novel type of fusion reactor called the Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor (CBFR).



Artan Qerushi ( Irvine, CA )





US7439678 - Magnetic and electrostatic confinement of plasma with tuning of electrostatic field - 10/21/2008





A system and method for containing plasma and forming a Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) magnetic topology are described in which plasma ions are contained magnetically in stable, non-adiabatic orbits in the FRC. Further, the electrons are contained electrostatically in a deep energy well, created by tuning an externally applied magnetic field. The simultaneous electrostatic confinement of electrons and magnetic confinement of ions avoids anomalous transport and facilitates classical containment of both electrons and ions. In this configuration, ions and electrons may have adequate density and temperature so that upon collisions they are fused together by nuclear force, thus releasing fusion energy. Moreover, the fusion fuel plasmas that can be used with the present confinement system and method are not limited to neutronic fuels only, but also advantageously include advanced fuels.





US7180242 - Formation of a field reversed configuration for magnetic and electrostatic confinement of plasma - 02/20/2007





A system and method for containing plasma and forming a Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) magnetic topology are described in which plasma ions are contained magnetically in stable, non-adiabatic orbits in the FRC. Further, the electrons are contained electrostatically in a deep energy well, created by tuning an externally applied magnetic field. The simultaneous electrostatic confinement of electrons and magnetic confinement of ions avoids anomalous transport and facilitates classical containment of both electrons and ions. In this configuration, ions and electrons may have adequate density and temperature so that upon collisions they are fused together by nuclear force, thus releasing fusion energy. Moreover, the fusion fuel plasmas that can be used with the present confinement system and method are not limited to neutronic fuels only, but also advantageously include advanced fuels.





US7119491 - Magnetic and electrostatic confinement of plasma with tuning of electrostatic field - 10/10/2006





A system and method for containing plasma and forming a Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) magnetic topology are described in which plasma ions are contained magnetically in stable, non-adiabatic orbits in the FRC. Further, the electrons are contained electrostatically in a deep energy well, created by tuning an externally applied magnetic field. The simultaneous electrostatic confinement of electrons and magnetic confinement of ions avoids anomalous transport and facilitates classical containment of both electrons and ions. In this configuration, ions and electrons may have adequate density and temperature so that upon collisions they are fused together by nuclear force, thus releasing fusion energy. Moreover, the fusion fuel plasmas that can be used with the present confinement system and method are not limited to neutronic fuels only, but also advantageously include advanced fuels.





US7015646 - Magnetic and electrostatic confinement of plasma with tuning of electrostatic field - 03/21/2006





A system and method for containing plasma and forming a Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) magnetic topology are described in which plasma ions are contained magnetically in stable, non-adiabatic orbits in the FRC. Further, the electrons are contained electrostatically in a deep energy well, created by tuning an externally applied magnetic field. The simultaneous electrostatic confinement of electrons and magnetic confinement of ions avoids anomalous transport and facilitates classical containment of both electrons and ions. In this configuration, ions and electrons may have adequate density and temperature so that upon collisions they are fused together by nuclear force, thus releasing fusion energy. Moreover, the fusion fuel plasmas that can be used with the present confinement system and method are not limited to neutronic fuels only, but also advantageously include advanced fuels.





US6995515 - Formation of a field reversed configuration for magnetic and electrostatic confinement of plasma - 02/07/2006





A system and method for containing plasma and forming a Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) magnetic topology are described in which plasma ions are contained magnetically in stable, non-adiabatic orbits in the FRC. Further, the electrons are contained electrostatically in a deep energy well, created by tuning an externally applied magnetic field. The simultaneous electrostatic confinement of electrons and magnetic confinement of ions avoids anomalous transport and facilitates classical containment of both electrons and ions. In this configuration, ions and electrons may have adequate density and temperature so that upon collisions they are fused together by nuclear force, thus releasing fusion energy. Moreover, the fusion fuel plasmas that can be used with the present confinement system and method are not limited to neutronic fuels only, but also advantageously include advanced fuels.



1 comment:

Brian H said...

Aug. 2010 -- and another $50M invested! Somebody believes they're going to score big time, I take it.

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