An energy producing Fusor

For posts specifically relating to fusor design, construction, and operation.
Hayabusa
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An energy producing Fusor

Post by Hayabusa » Sun Feb 12, 2006 1:22 am

Hello All,

Fasinating forum!

I have been reviewing the fusor pages for about a week now, and have yet to come across something that describes a means of extracting energy from the Fusor. Im not talking about a system which generates more energy then what the system consumes in operation or even a break even condition, I realize thats the goal, or at least the major one.

Im really new at this and probably just don't understand the language enough yet so I probably missed it.

Would someone please explain to me in simple laymen terms how the fusor could produce electrical energy.

I would like to propose an Idea here, because Im wondering if someone has already tried this. It's probably flawed in some way but here it goes.

The Center(inner) grid heats up during operation, therefore limiting the amount of time the Fusor can stay in operation.

Has anyone considered or tried constructing the inner grid from a coil of fine hollow stainless steel tubing, which is formed into a spherical shape? The hollow tube could then be filled with a liquid which would then serve to purposes, 1) it would cool the grid, and allow for continuos operation, and 2) provide a means of extracting energy, and generating electrical energy via turbine/boiler.

I love the work you guys have done, and can't believe something like this has been kept out of the public eye for so long Discovery Channel were are you?

Thanks in advance for any feed back

If this is a good idea and works, then perhaps liquid cooling/energy-collection could also be aplied to the shell.


Happy Fusing fellas ;^)

Q
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Re: An energy producing Fusor

Post by Q » Sun Feb 12, 2006 2:41 am

hi roger,

well, this is a bit of a pointless rant on symantics, but since energy can not be created, a fusor can not produce energy. it can however liberate energy from the nuclear reactions that take place within it.

that said, as it is, the fusor can not be used to produce electricity. but you are correct in thinking that getting usable energy out of the fusor is one of the goals that some forum members have.

now the hollow grid idea has been discussed extansively, and it has merrit. yet it is not very practicle to do on an ameteur budget. the high voltages involved are the main problem; the coolant would have to be nonconductive. also, the work involved in taking a small dialeter tube and fabricating a fusor grid from it would be extremely difficult. then if that challenge were solved, there is the difficulty in having a liquid filled coolant loop inside of a high vacuum chamber. how does one feed the coolant into the grid assymbly and keep the chamber from leaking? (this isn't as easy as it sounds) likewise, cooling the fusor shell by any other method than air cooling would cause similar difficulties.

now, using the heat that the fusor produces is (in theory) possible but very wasteful. it would be beter to find a method of converting the kenetic energy of the fusion byproducts directly instead of using it to heat up a transfer medium.

i don't mean to sound critical, but that's the way it is. other's can probably do a much beter job of explaining this and expound upon it as well.

again, this has all been discussed throughly in the past. try using the search function to look through the forum archive. it can take some time, but there's loads of information there.

Q

Hayabusa
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Re: An energy producing Fusor

Post by Hayabusa » Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:17 am

Thanks for the response Q,

I have read that in some experiments the current suddenly spikes, why is that? Is this current the result of a fussion reaction? Can a fussion reaction generate an electrical current directly?

Thanks again Q

Hayabusa
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Re: An energy producing Fusor

Post by Hayabusa » Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:13 pm

Heres a picture of the idea.

Also I did a search yesturday, as you had suggested, and it works well.

thanks again
Attachments
my fusor.pdf
(17.46 KiB) Downloaded 85 times

Hayabusa
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Re: An energy producing Fusor

Post by Hayabusa » Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:21 pm

Sorry the PDF, in my last reply doesn't seem to work very well.

Here it is as a .jpg
Attachments
fusor_000.jpg
fusor_000.jpg (60.03 KiB) Viewed 2120 times

Q
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Re: An energy producing Fusor

Post by Q » Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:45 am

well, i'm not sure that i remember the discussion correctly, but i beleive that it was determined that the current spikes were caused by thermionic electron 'avalanch'; where the grid gets hot enough to start 'boiling off' electrons which are then accelerated away from the center of the fusor toward the shell. the increase in electrons will increase the ionization rate of the deuterium and allow more ions to be pulled into the center of the fusor where they hopefully will collide and fuse. this also has the effect of heating the grid even more since a fraction of the ions slam into the grid. if one does not carefully watch for this, it will cause the grid to melt and the fusor to stop fusing. the fusion reaction does not its self appriciably heat the grid or the shell of the fusor. nearly all of this heat comes from the power put into the system to accelerate the deuterium ions.

i think i got that right... i'm still constructing my own fusor.

also, your grid idea is interesting. i'd still not want to attempt making one like that, i'm having enough trouble just attempting a standard solid wire grid. but if you do manage to make one of these please do let us know how well it works.

Q

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Richard Hull
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Re: An energy producing Fusor

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:25 pm

There are only two ways a fusor might produce electricity directly due to fusion taking place. Both have been discussed previously.

Roger must be forgiven for not having found the past discussions where the ratio of energy fed into a fusor vs. the fusion energy actually produced is shown to be on the order of 100 billion to one or worse. 1000 watts input from a wall outlet for a fusion output of 0.00000001 watt out in most common fusors.

The following is offered to answer the basic questions of capturing all of the fusion energy for conversion to electricity.

1. Sink the entire fusor in heavily borated water. In this fashion you turn all input energy + all fusion energy into hot water. All the fusion related kinematic, charged paticles heat the fusor walls and you heat the water with the neutrons from fusion. No fusor has yet produced enough fusion energy to notice it as an additive to the input electrical energy. If one did get the water hot enough to boil, you could use a standard turbine to drive a generator. (indirect conversion)

2. The P + B11 and other resultant, charged particle fusion reactions have long been eyed for direct conversion of fusion products into electric current, but no one has worked the idea even at a crude demo level!

The issue is one of how do you know you are producing viable energy from #1, above due to fusion when there is so little of it going on in relation to the overwhelming input energy?

#2 demands a process that has just not been explored due to technical difficulties, but would be the number one way of knowing you had fusion related electrical generation for, no matter how miniscule, it could be easily measured, directly with simple instruments.

All other heat transfer schemes are jokes as in some sort of thermoelectric conversion schemes, etc. At least in #1, above, you warrant that nothing fusion related gets away without heating water. 100% transfer of all input and fusion energy to heat. The hassle is and has always been, turning this "combined heat" heat into electricity.

Fission does this indirect conversion just great!!! A lot of us, this evening will cook our meals off fission and catch some fission supplied TV or computer time.

Fusion, for all the billions spent hasn't boiled the first cubic centimeter of water due solely to any fusion process. It seems if we could only run a bit faster we could catch that carrot hung out in front of us.

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.

brunerww
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Re: An energy producing Fusor

Post by brunerww » Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:14 pm

Dear Mr. Hull, First -- thank you for all that you have done to keep this important area of amateur science alive. Second, speaking of fission, has there been any thought of using the spherical fusor as an inexpensive neutron producer in a small "driven" sub-critical fission reactor? Dr. Miley seems to think this idea has some potential using a standard reactor approach with cylindrical fuel rods [ http://www.n-plasma.com/driven_reaction.html ], but I have not seen any work on driven reactions using the standard sphere (perhaps in a pebble bed?)

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Richard Hull
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Re: An energy producing Fusor

Post by Richard Hull » Mon May 01, 2006 1:40 pm

Much can be proposed, of course. How much is done is always another matter. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Putting one's foot in the path is the big step that few idea people ever take.

I do not see any overwhelming advantage to the system offered up. Playing with any fission system in even the tiniest experiment towards real proof of functional concept would involve a lot of red tape and at least three or four consenting government agencies.

I predict that the ball stops right here, gets dropped, and bounces out its lifetime in the usual damped oscillatory fashion.

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.

SteveZ
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Re: An energy producing Fusor

Post by SteveZ » Mon May 01, 2006 8:05 pm

Several experimental sub-critical fission reactors have been built and operated in the past. There was one at the University of Valparaso in northwest Indiana, that was a part of its now defunct nuclear engineering degree. That reactor has been decommisioned some time ago. It used an external Neutron source to start and maintain a fission reaction.

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