What Has Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) achieved so far ?
* Ion temperature—goal achieved—over 1.8 billion degrees, enough to ignite pB11
* Confinement time—goal achieved 20 ns—more than 8 ns goal
* Energy transfer to plasmoid—over 50% of goal
* Density—must increase by 10,000
Steps To Increase Density
* 50x– Achieve theoretical density—tungsten electrodes to eliminate impurity
* 10x– Increase current to 2.8 MA
* 20x– Better compression with heavier pB11
A committee of researchers was led by Dr. Robert Hirsch, a former director of fusion research for the US Atomic Energy Commission and the Energy Research and Development Agency gave a positive assessment of LPP, their research and recommended funding. Other members of the committee were Dr. Stephen O. Dean, President of Fusion Power Associates and former director of fusion Magnetic Confinement Systems for the Department of Energy; Professor Gerald L. Kulcinski, Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Professor Dennis Papadopoulos, Professor of Physics, University of Maryland. The committee was organized by Dr. Hirsch at the request of Mr. Alvin Samuels, an investor in LPP’s effort, to give an objective assessment of the program. Neither Mr. Samuels nor LPP had any control over the committee’s conclusions.
For 5 MW generator, mass production $0.08-$0.20/W ($400,000 to $1 million for the 5 MWe generator)
Less than 0.3 cents/kwH Vs best today of 6 cents/kwH (20 times cheaper than energy today)
The 5 MWe device would produce 6705 horsepower.
Why would a Tokamak be 1000 times bigger ? LPP uses instabilities and does not fight them. You need a monster football stadium size device with huge magnets if you want to fight and control the physics.
LPP is the aneutronic fusion leader
• $3.2M raised from Abell Foundation, 50 investors
• Raising $1 M more for scientific feasibility, transition to eng. phase
• $50M for development, engineering
After Net Gain – Engineering Challenges:
• Removing waste heat (helium cooling)
• X-ray capture device
• Ion beam conversion (MW magnetron designs already get 87% efficiency)
Success Means the World Radically Changes
The 5 MWe device would be about the size of a large refrigerator or a small car. The device is mechanically and electrically simple. Making millions of these devices would not be industrially challenging. 2 million 5 MWe devices would be 10 Terawatts of power. 20,000 devices would be 100 GWe which would be equal to all of the nuclear fission power in the USA. 800 Twh per year. 10 Terawatts would be 80,000 TWh. The cost estimate was $400 billion to $2 trillion for the 2 million devices.
Space access would also be transformed
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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