Z machine

It may be difficult to separate "theory" from "application," but let''s see if this helps facilitate the discussion.
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Peter Schmelcher
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Z machine

Post by Peter Schmelcher » Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:01 pm

For what it’s worth the article has a few results for the Sandia Z machine with somewhat more information and less hype than typical.
http://phys.org/news/2014-09-sandia-mag ... icant.html
-Peter

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Andrew Robinson
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Re: Z machine

Post by Andrew Robinson » Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:56 am

My reactor theory professor ran several experiments there. I still remember him running into class one day late on account of something going on that day in the lab. Never had a chance to visit though :(
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Charles Snyder
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Re: Z machine

Post by Charles Snyder » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:30 am

I was really interested in this report so I searched for some more info about the MagLIF and found this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBtu8S9vAtY

It was a glowing report of all the accomplishments made and future enhancements. At 32:54 in the video they show the innards of the machine blown all to heck after a shot.

I lost interest.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Z machine

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:48 am

Putt-putt boat fusion. Been around for years. Like an old muzzle loader no real useful troughput. Like trying to power a neighborhood with megawatt lightning strikes. Damage results somewhere after each strike or shot, in this case. Yet, to hear them talk, they are on a roll.

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Re: Z machine

Post by Dan Tibbets » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:41 am

It does make me wonder about the Dense Plasma Focus though, they have been working with hundreds of KJ (or at least approaching this) with their pinch, and while electrode erosion has apparently been a problem, at least they are not blowing the machine up.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Z machine

Post by Richard Hull » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:17 am

Any precise and accurate throughput figures? What is the absolute max rep rate at a usable energy output? What is the time of run at that rate before degradation of a system component, any component, either fails or causes the need for shut down to effect replacement?

Experiments are nice, but any attempt at gaining real energy to convert to electricity demands reliable and continuous operation. How far off in the future is dense plasma expected to put energy on the mains?...or...Are they even talking about that? My guess is they might say, if pressed, "we are working a new frontier here and any guess as to the future of dense plasma fusion energy electrical output to the mains is currently unknowable".

NIF, on the other hand, has committed to a workable electrical, power producing, laser based, ICF system by 2035. I was treated to their power point presentation a couple of weeks ago, given by one of their traveling pitch-ladies (engineer on the project). How they went from an epic fail in a press released announcement a few years ago to a working electrical producer in 20 years is a true tribute to the art of fusion "turnarounds" when jobs, as always, are the final product of fusion research.

Putt...putt...putt

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Re: Z machine

Post by Dan Tibbets » Sun Nov 16, 2014 2:46 am

Dense Plasma fusion, has overcome some physics nay sayers. That doesn't mean they have achieved proof of concept though. They are confronting increasing engineering challenges as they try to push the physics. As for useful output. Pulsing the machine ~ 100 times per second could provide the desired output. Even if the physics worked though, the lifetime of the machine may be to short for economic employment. You might go through 1 machine per week, or even day. They are projected to be cheap and small , but relatively powerful machines. But burning out at that rate is certainly an impediment.

The tokamaks are partially on the other side of the scale. They are hugely expensive, probably have to be paired up as a single machine probably cannot maintain constant output (paired on site or by utilizing a smart grid). Their lifetimes are probably very much longer than a DPF, but still may be too short considering construction, maintenance, and retirement costs. That leaves some intermediate approaches like FRC and Polywell. The economies of a working (wishful thinking?) machine may be more realistic. Laser confinement fusion fans, can project all sorts of scenarios, just like all of the others. The biggest unknown variable in laser inertial confinement fusion may be the lasers themselves. There are trends that suggest that laser capabilities may grow by several orders of magnitude (lower cost and greater intensity) The huge laser array at the NIF may already be a dinosaur.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Z machine

Post by Richard Hull » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:29 pm

According to the gal, (NIF engineer), who gave the presentation, their lasers are indeed 1990s design dinosaurs. The crux of the matter is they are banking, and placing all their hopes and dreams for the 2035 goal, on yet another machine with vastly improved laser systems. The philosophy is the same as in all fusion projects...Keep pushing that peanut with your nose. There has to be a finish line ahead somewhere. Not in sight, but it must be there.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: Z machine

Post by Dan Tibbets » Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:59 pm

Other than the NIF, there is a European effort that purportedly may be less intimidating, using weaker but shorter pulse lasers that allows greater energy deposition over a shorter time frame. If my limited understanding is even accurate, I don't know of the relative merits or their progress.

http://www.hiperlaser.org/

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