Laser Boron fusion

  • https://www.hindawi.com/journals/stni/2014/802054/


    Laser-driven inertial fusion is a good bet, because the driving technology - high-power lasers, is developing so rapidly with no obvious technological blockages.


    And the scope for optimising fusion under these conditions is much larger - it is a big and under-explored design space, unlike plasma fusion.


    Hora from 2007 has done a whole load of speculative"fusion can be much better than people think" stuff. If some of it works that will be great.


    And here is the detail on Hora's HB stuff. It is a really clever idea: with a plausible way to get extreme electromagnetic conditions from two lasers working together.


    Quote

    In this paper, we have mapped out our research based on recent experiments and simulations for a new energy source. We suggest how HB11 fusion for a reactor can be used instead of the DT option. We have mapped out our HB11 fusion in the following way: (i) The acceleration of a plasma block with a laser beam with the power and time duration of the order of 10 petawatts and one picosecond accordingly. (ii) A plasma confinement by a magnetic field of the order of a few kiloteslas created by a second laser beam with a pulse duration of a few nanoseconds (ns). (iii) The highly increased fusion of HB11 relative to present DT fusion is possible due to the alphas avalanche created in this process. (iv) The conversion of the output charged alpha particles directly to electricity. (v) To prove the above ideas, our simulations show for example that 14 milligram HB11 can produce 300 kWh energy if all achieved results are combined for the design of an absolutely clean power reactor producing low-cost energy.


    Another advantage was the very first measurement of HB11 fusion (Belyaev et al., 2005) by using lasers with thousand reactions per laser shot, followed by more than 1 million reactions (Labaune et al., 2013) and then by one billion reactions (Picciotto et al., 2014). Comparison with DT fusion confirmed that this could be achieved only by avalanche reactions (Hora, 2014; Hora et al., 2015). The detailed evaluation of these measurements (Margarone et al., 2015) based on elastic nuclear collisions towards the exceptionally high HB11 reaction around 600 keV (Eliezer et al., 2016; Hora et al., 2017b) showed an increase of the gains by further four orders of magnitudes.
    Based on these nine orders of magnitudes higher reactivity of HB11 at non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) conditions, a fusion power reactor was designed (Hora et al., 2014; Lalousis et al., 2014; Hora, 2015) with picosecond laser pulses of more than 30 Petawatt power that are expected to ignite 14 milligram hydrogen-boron for producing 300 kWh energy.

  • Hora's contention is that his stuff needs ultra-high contrast lasers and this can be shown by blue-shift observations when it is reached, so that many experiments with less good lasers failed. He claims best fusion gain of 0.3 so far observed. That looks like only 30X away from what would allow power generation. Perhaps a bit less if direct conversion of alphas is possible.


    Because the design space for optimising is so large and unexplored in his stuff, this is a really promising idea. If you believe his contention about what is happening. The experimental evidence for this is getting better?

  • P-11B fusion is being pushed by other organizations as well. P-11B is particularly interesting because unlike D-D or D-T hot fusion, there are no high energy neutrons produced in the nuclear reaction. Tri-alpha Energy is one: https://www.ialtenergy.com/tri-alpha-energy.html


    HB fusion for most of these is really just a device to help get funding, with the possible dream of direct conversion, and the reality of much less neutronic (never really aneutronic with high energy particles flying around) operation. The exotic fusion approaches also work (maybe better) with D-T and might end up commercialising that.


    Hora is unique in having found this extraordinary fusion advantage with HB.

  • I'm starting to think these H boron announcements are meant for investors and not for researchers. How many times have you heard people in LENR/CF say they will have a working product in x years and never deliver? A lot starting with P&F. So, I think the purpose of their 10 year promise is to attract funds, even though this is real fusion. They have a theory and data from a few experiments. But they do not have a proof of concept or a test reactor. So, I will put the chance of a working overunity HB rector in 10 years at 0%. I will keep Wendelstein ahead of the pack in terms of developing a >1 COP reactor because they have a working proof of concept. They are also honest about the goals of their work.

  • I'm starting to think these H boron announcements are meant for investors and not for researchers. How many times have you heard people in LENR/CF say they will have a working product in x years and never deliver? A lot starting with P&F. So, I think the purpose of their 10 year promise is to attract funds, even though this is real fusion. They have a theory and data from a few experiments. But they do not have a proof of concept or a test reactor. So, I will put the chance of a working overunity HB rector in 10 years at 0%. I will keep Wendelstein ahead of the pack in terms of developing a >1 COP reactor because they have a working proof of concept. They are also honest about the goals of their work.


    Well, like all the other exotic fusion options they have an idea which might work, and no proof that it will work. And to attract funds for more research you want to show that it might be viable. But you are over-generalising with "these HB announcements". each of the exotic proposals has its own evidence, and own issues. For me, Hora is currently by far the most exciting of the bunch. He is close to definite evidence that his stuff does/does not work. Better than the thermal fusion possibles in terms of something within 20 years because thermal fusion has been so very well explored. Thermal fusion will work in the end, but the engineering issues make it big and complex, a large mountain to climb.


    The payback is large: if reactors along these lines did work they would be a very big deal.


    I evaluate this and other proposals in terms of the experimental and theoretical evidence base, and most important does that get better or worse with time.


    So, for example, with BLP there is no theory, but more importantly the experimetal base gets worse with time. Each demo gets abandonned at the "not proven" stage to be replaced by a different demo with more complex calorimetry:


    large cylinder mass flow (large output no input) -> electrolytic cell high power in/out stimulus (small average output) -> arc transient (claimed total transient output large based on integrated spectography, very unclear transient input and output)


    Each form of calorimetry is more complex and uncertain than the previous one, and the old devices get buried.


    With Hora I agree that his ideas are very speculative, but:


    (1) There is sound theory

    (2) There is absolutely no doubt that these experiments (from multiple independent groups) show nuclear activity, the issue is how this scales.

    (3) The design space is very large. If this stuff works, then whether it works well enough depends on a whole load of things that can be optimised and have not yet been optimised

    (4) The experimental work is consistent and joins up. Thus failed experiments are analysed and reasons for failure found and tested. The high contrast issue. If this is an excuse, and the working experiments are artifactual, then I agree this stuff is not much better than any other wannabe. So the issue is whether new working experiments of the same type get more convincing over time, or less convincing.


    (4) is the thing that requires really careful analysis. I have not done it for Hora's latest paper, looking at all the references experiments. So i'm not claiming this stuff is real. But, given this paper, without checking and showing there is nothing there it would be very dismissive (as lenrisnotreal) to dismiss this, especially because they tick lots of positive boxes which to my knowledge none of the conventional LENR people do.


    I'm not convinced by gut reaction "it works" or "it does not work" without reasons other than flaky analogies. And, Hora's stuff is interesting.

  • To me, it's a question of where the budgeted government money goes. On one hand, we have ITER and NIF, both with huge amounts of government funding, and both always 20 years in the future. When I was graduating from college in 1974, the career advice was "The science of fusion plants is done, it's all engineering now" That may be true, but insurmountable engineering is just as bad as insurmountable science.


    On the other hand, we have many underfunded small fusion projects, both "hot" fusion, and "cold" fusion. They are all struggling and we only get to sit on this forum and cheer them on.

  • To me, it's a question of where the budgeted government money goes. On one hand, we have ITER and NIF, both with huge amounts of government funding, and both always 20 years in the future. When I was graduating from college in 1974, the career advice was "The science of fusion plants is done, it's all engineering now" That may be true, but insurmountable engineering is just as bad as insurmountable science.


    On the other hand, we have many underfunded small fusion projects, both "hot" fusion, and "cold" fusion. They are all struggling and we only get to sit on this forum and cheer them on.

    There were proof of concepts before large sums of money were dedicated to both ITER and NIF. They did not produce net energy gain, but they were airtight from a scientific standpoint. The W7X proof of concept should also lead to massive funding once they maintain an ion plasma at ~100Million C for 30 minutes. Many of these other projects you speak of, including 100% of the LENR items, have not had a proof of concept that can survive the highest levels of scientific rigor. Thus, they can't receive a large amount of gov't funding.


  • Particle Accelerator on a Chip


    This fusion technology requires a low cost particle accelerator to be economic. Here is one approach.




    Here is another low cost accelerator




    Here are the energy levels involved


    crossSections.jpg

  • There were proof of concepts before large sums of money were dedicated to both ITER and NIF. They did not produce net energy gain, but they were airtight from a scientific standpoint.

    All fusion experiments always produce a net energy gain. It may only be a small fraction of input power but it is a gain. Perhaps you mean that output energy was smaller than input energy.


    I do not know the present day record for Tokamak output energy, but years ago it was at the PPPL for a reaction of 10 MW lasting roughly 0.6 s. That's 6 MJ. Cold fusion reactions have often produced far more energy than that. Much less power, of course.


    However, the output energy and the ratio of output to input are no indication of the practical possibilities of plasma fusion or cold fusion. The ratio is meaningless in the case of cold fusion, because input power does not cause output or correlate with it, and because in many cases there is no input power, so the ratio is infinite. Also because it is easy to reduce input power, and input power is stable and predictable so it is easy to measure it and subtract it from output.



    Many of these other projects you speak of, including 100% of the LENR items, have not had a proof of concept that can survive the highest levels of scientific rigor. Thus, they can't receive a large amount of gov't funding.

    That is incorrect. Hundreds of cold fusion experiments survived publication in many top-ranked journals of nuclear physics and electrochemistry. Only two papers were published in these journals attempting to find errors in the experiments, by Morrison and Shanahan. They both failed, in my opinion. In experimental science, peer-reviewed papers in major journals are the only standard of rigor. There are no other institutions, standards or methods of determining what is correct and what is mistaken. The peer-review system is not foolproof. Correct results and important work is often rejected by it. But in the whole history of modern science, you will not find a single instance in which a widely replicated, high-sigma result such as cold fusion was published in hundreds of papers yet it turned out to be wrong. If that could happen, science would not work, and we would still be living in caves.


    You often claim that cold fusion is unproven or that there is a mistake, but you are wrong because you have read nothing and you know nothing about the research. Since you are completely ignorant of a subject you should not pontificate about it or pretend you have some invisible authoritative source of information. That makes you look silly.

  • We already discussed Boron Fusion at least one halve year ago. At that time the experiments just showed some successful reactions, that were far below break even. Everything written in the proposal were just extrapolations.

    The direct harvesting (with high efficiency!) of Alpha energy is as fantastic as Mills claims to directly convert SUN-CELL radiation.


    Today I looked up the nuclear structure of Boron using the new 4(6) dimensional quantization. 11B already has built out the internal 3 x alpha structure and owns highly stable excitation levels starting at 2.214 MeV with a very short live time. This indicates that you will need a very high energy and a strong field to implant a proton and finally release the well screened (3x) alphas.

    Conclusion: It is very unlikely that just higher energies – as proposed – will give a higher yield. As usual in all LENR reactions, a higher field would be a much better solution. But this would need a complete redesign of the setup.

    The other solution would be to find a sweet spot, like Lipinskis did for Lithium.