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SkunkWorks Says Fusion Power by 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:17 am    Post subject: SkunkWorks Says Fusion Power by 2017 Reply with quote

I caught this link via the Intertel group on Facebook. SkunkWorks, the advanced R&D lab of Lockheed Martin, says that it will be able to produce a functional prototype fusion reactor capable of a 100MW output by 2017 and that its design could be into commercial production by 2020. That isn't the boldest claim, though. No, it says that by 2045 all the world's energy needs could be met by these reactors--we won't need oil or natural gas at all.

I wish I could bet money against them. This is a goal they won't be able to meet. I could believe a prototype by 2020--maybe--but I still highly doubt it. If I am lucky I will live long enough for the first stable fusion reactor to go online but I am not going to hold my breath.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know, H...did you watch the video of the presentation?
The approach is different than others I know of...and they have a reputation to uphold...and the guy seemed fairly confident. None of which proves anything...but it's enough that I find it encouraging. Maybe not QUITE as quickly as he suggests/hopes for...but perhaps still much faster than the other major lines being followed.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I admit that their design makes more sense than a traditional tokamak--it is easier to create stronger magnetic fields these days with better materials and coil design, including one attempt by Bell Labs (I think it was Bell) who broke the 100 T barrier, which is an insanely strong magnetic field--but despite SkunkWorks' reputation for success this just seems like more of a "golly gee whiz--wouldn't it be great to have cheap, clean electricity for the whole world?" than a serious plan for meeting a future need.

This, of course, would be a good time for me to be proven wrong. If they really can deliver then I can't see a downside, except for Big Oil and its associated industries.

By the way, if you aren't already in Intertel you should look into joining. The inexpensive way to join is the way I did it--take the Mensa admission test and score in the top 1%.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Applaud

[By the way - whats an Intert....Intert.....Inter..?]
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well...a bit of movement forward. The rough blurb announcement is all over the place, but I had to look around a lot to find an article that had any new technical info at all, and this is it [though it doesn't really say anything new, except that some initial experiments have been positive, so they're looking for more participants/backers/partners.

http://aviationweek.com/technology/skunk-works-reveals-compact-fusion-reactor-details
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Le Pétermane wrote:
[By the way - whats an Intert....Intert.....Inter..?]

Hashi's got a link in his sig. It's even more exclusive than Mensa. To qualify for Intertel, you have to score in the top 1% on a standardized IQ test; Mensa requires a score in the top 2%.

Either of which, together with three bucks, will get you a tall latte at Starbucks. Wink (And I say that, having joined both, once upon a time...)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if fusion tech would already be in use if we were in the midst of a global or planetary conflict in which developing a fusion reactor meant the difference between victory and total defeat.

Personally I'd rather it didn't take World War III to achieve our energy goals but it does say something about priorities.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No new news on Skunkworks...just a few blurbs saying "It's going pretty good."
OTOH--the below...if it is correct and works out, it's even better than the Skunkworks way. [[maybe...details are few]]
Of course...it's still fusion, always a decade away.
But they gotta be right someday, right?


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150925085550.htm
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't really matter who gets to it first as long as small-scale fusion reactors become a reality. There are so many advantages to fusion over traditional power generation via coal or fission that it really is the future, especially when combined with solar and wind (and tidal or geothermal where you can get them).

Producing by-product muons, as noted, is definitely better than producing by-product neutrons.

Trivia: drinking a glass of heavy water is dangerous since the deuterium damages tissue.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
There are so many advantages to fusion over traditional power generation via coal or fission that it really is the future, especially when combined with solar and wind (and tidal or geothermal where you can get them).

Producing by-product muons, as noted, is definitely better than producing by-product neutrons.

Trivia: drinking a glass of heavy water is dangerous since the deuterium damages tissue.


Agreed...there is nothing that is more important, more powerfully positive, on the near horizon than small-scale fusion. [The giant ones most are working on have uses, perhaps, in some situations. But in this case, smaller is better for the most part].
It would literally be impossible to list even the knowable/easily predictable good results...there are just too many.
And the unpredictable---well, unpredictable. But I predict massive. At least equal to the fossil-fuel revolution, likely much larger.

True AI might be more important, and the nano/cyberizing of people and healthcare is in the running.
But I suspect fusion is closer.

Huh...I always thought deut. was safe. But it's just radiation safe/naturally occurring concentrations safe. I had to look up why it would be bad.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For other people's edification, the effects of deuterium on living tissue. Long story short: the bonds formed by D are stronger than those of H and this leads to disruption of certain chemical processes in cells. Also, some cellular functions that rely upon passing liquid through membranes fails for D.

Still...2017 is only 1.25 years away. Even if we give them until the end of 2017 that is 2.25 years for small-scale fusion. I really hope they can make it work (and there aren't a lot of thing I hope for people to accomplish).

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flying cars are right around the corner! Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly.

The sad irony is that flying cars already exist...only...they keep running into delays receiving FAA approval and they cost a heck of a lot. Still...if you don't mind spending $100,000 (that was the going rate the last time I checked) you can pre-order a flying car pending approval and when it gets built it will be delivered to you. That price also includes flight training for the car, of course.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They had a flying car in The Man with the Golden Gun. That is NOT what we mean.



This is what we mean. Thank you.



(Flying bikes are also acceptible.)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
They had a flying car in The Man with the Golden Gun. That is NOT what we mean.



You have to admit that for its time that was pretty damned cool. Scaramonga could travel in and out of the country for jobs whenever he wanted to--I have do doubt that he had some air traffic control and military people on his payroll with orders to ignore his craft.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
They had a flying car in The Man with the Golden Gun. That is NOT what we mean.



This is what we mean. Thank you.



(Flying bikes are also acceptible.)




I just HATE to think what would happen if the power systems in those autos experienced a "short". Shocked (Perhaps these futuristic cars have built-in parachutes as well as airbags, though.)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the bike. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
I like the bike. Very Happy

--A


Yea, me too. And, being rotor, it could be designed to land safely and gently even if you lost power.

On flying cars...seriously, people...there are way too many already that can't manage to safely get from point A to point B in 2 dimensions on a prepared surface, with lines to show you your path. How the hell will they work in a free-form, unmarked 3-d space?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah....deadly. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
On flying cars...seriously, people...there are way too many already that can't manage to safely get from point A to point B in 2 dimensions on a prepared surface, with lines to show you your path. How the hell will they work in a free-form, unmarked 3-d space?[/color]


Well, I'm completely with you, Vraith: THEY WOULDN'T! I don't care how far our technology comes, THERE IS NO WAY IN HECK THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS EVER GOING TO BE ALLOWED FLOATING CARS! Only highly trained experts would be allowed such things. Otherwise, we'd have to have a high tax rate to pay for numerous public workers scraping people's remains off the earth's surface quite frequently.
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