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ECOFusion - a new, clean, and safe fusion energy source

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posted on May, 18 2016 @ 07:24 AM
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ECOFusion is an alternative approach to fusion energy production. ECOFusion promises to be a safe and clean energy source that will produce zero carbon emissions and not directly produce any long-lived nuclear waste. ECOFusion will be fueled by hydrogen, which is abundantly available in seawater.

A look at the world's energy situation, as well as a brief introduction into ECOFusion appears on the following YouTube video:



ECOFusion is a proposal to use electron cooled colliding beams in order to achieve a fusion energy source. Electron cooling is a process wherein an electron beam is laid on top of an ion beam. Trajectory errors within the ion beam are corrected as the ions interact with the electrons. The electron beam is continuously supplied fresh and then efficiently collected with little energy expenditure. This allows ions to be sent to the interaction region over and over again until they either fuse or are lost due to rare events.

Unfortunately, past attempts at colliding beam fusion failed to work, and the politics of even getting ECOFusion publicized have been daunting. And it is true that without some form of beam cooling it is easy to show that colliding beam fusion will not work. The reason for failure has been that multiple small scatterings dilute and destroy the beams before useful energy can be obtained. ECOFusion overcomes this conventional hurdle by using beam cooling to make a colliding beam fusion reactor possible. Beam cooling corrects for the effects of the multiple small scatterings that would otherwise destroy the beams.

An overview of the ECOFusion concept, including the important topic of electron cooling, appears in the following YouTube video:



It is relevant to state my credentials, as I am the inventor of ECOFusion. I received a Ph.D. in accelerator physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1986. My Ph.D. studies were centered on electron cooling, which is a fundamental technology underlying ECOFusion. My thesis project involved the design and construction of a 2.5 million volt, ampere intensity electron beam device that was intended for the electron cooling of antiprotons at Fermilab. I went on to hold accelerator physicist positions at UCLA (where I helped to form the accelerator physics group), UCF (where I worked with Dr. Luis Elias on the design of free electron lasers), the SSC (where I was responsible for longitudinal physics designs), and IAT (where I served as lead accelerator physicist on Fermilab's PET accelerator). A few years after completing work on the PET project I spent six years designing ECOFusion.

In the past, every accelerator system I designed and built did work. I believe ECOFusion will work too.

I believe that ECOFusion will be funded were it simply becomes well known. Some large VC firms are looking for just such an idea. But I have found that getting publicity for this exciting idea is actually quite hard to achieve. Please help by spreading the word about ECOFusion!

For more information, including in depth scientific videos, and a meme you can repost to help publicize ECOFusion, you can go to www.ecofusionpower.com...

Thank You!




posted on May, 18 2016 @ 07:50 AM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

Thanks for sharing this, it looks pretty awesome. I'll have to watch the video later when I'm not at work.

Hopefully I'll be able to ask some questions without sounding stupid.



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 08:45 AM
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How large an expanse is required for the three rings of beams? How dangerous is it if the beams become unstable enough to break containment?



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 09:00 AM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

If we assume that the processes of beam control and collision that you have presented are successful, how will the heat be extracted? What radiation do you expect from the fusion process and how will it effect the materials of construction?



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 09:07 AM
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Will the ions be fast enough to break the Coulomb-barrier? Doesn't that take 4.5 x 10^7 K? Source

And wow, that ion-density seems extreme.. 2 x 10^14 s/cm³? Source


How much Ampere will that take, are your 10kA enough to provide the neccessary MeV? How many would that be, I don't know.



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 09:44 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr


How large an expanse is required for the three rings of beams? How dangerous is it if the beams become unstable enough to break containment?


I am guessing you meant expense. Based on the PET experiment, I believe a two ring system would cost about $20M to build the first prototype. However, that cost is almost all scientific, engineering and technician talent. When mass produced, products tend to become dominated by materials costs, and that should enable ECOFusion to be cost competitive. The fuel costs will be minimal, and at the mature state the materials themselves could be recycled, further lowering the cost.

If you did mean expanse, we have calculated that ECOFusion cells will occupy about the same volume as the core of a coal fired power plant in order to provide similar output power.

The amount of power in one of the beams is roughly 10,000 A times 200,000 V, or two gigawatts. But the orbit time is only about 10 microseconds, so the total energy stored is roughly 20,000 Joules. That works out to 100 Watts for 200 seconds. It is not much to worry about. Worst case, the vacuum breaks and the beams crash with some minor damage to the system. This isn't like fission where you can get a dangerous runaway chain reaction. Any ECOFusion failure just means you stop producing energy from the affected units and you may have to make some repairs. (ECOFusion is modular, so only the affected units will go off-line should a vacuum failure occur.)



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 09:58 AM
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redacted
edit on 18-5-2016 by intrptr because: (no reason given)


Thanks for the reply. The core of the eco fusion chambers is one thing, how big would the rings be? The whole facility in so many acres?
edit on 18-5-2016 by intrptr because: changed



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 10:09 AM
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www.ecofusionpower.com...

It seems to be a great deal of money required just for one prototype?

Would smaller personal-use units be a possibility, and can sea water, fresh water and/or rain water be used?
edit on 18-5-2016 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 10:11 AM
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dbl post
edit on 18-5-2016 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 10:16 AM
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originally posted by: pteridine
a reply to: delbertlarson

If we assume that the processes of beam control and collision that you have presented are successful, how will the heat be extracted? What radiation do you expect from the fusion process and how will it effect the materials of construction?



The fusion process, when using deuterium and tritium as the fuel, will produce a neutron and a helium nucleus. The helium nucleus will slow as it penetrates matter (the beam pipe) losing energy through the dE/dx process. The energy that the helium nucleus loses is converted to heating of the beam pipe. Water tubing around the beam pipe will heat to boiling, and this will power steam-based generators that produce the electricity.

More problematic is the neutron. When a high velocity neutron hits a proton in the hydrogen of the water it will transfer much of its energy to that proton. That proton will then undergo a dE/dx process and heat the water similarly to what was just described for the Helium ion. Neutrons that decay into a proton and electron will also see the proton and electron contribute to dE/dx, with that energy converted to electricity as well.

But the problematic nature of the neutrons comes in the realm of nuclear activation. Some of the time a neutron will combine with a nucleus of the beam pipe or other surrounding materials and transform it into a radioactive isotope. With proper choice of materials, this process should be controllable so that only short-lived isotopes are produced, but it is certainly a concern.

I must admit that I am not a full expert on the matters of nuclear activation and the effect it has on materials, but I do wish to note that most fusion devices will have some issues in this area. However ECOFusion has advantages even there, since ECOFusion can operate at room temperature and has considerable freedom in its choice of materials. Also, since ECOFusion is modular, one can envision a maintenance cycle where units are periodically removed for servicing which would entail swapping out their radioactive parts with clean ones on a regular basis. As experience with the technology grows, all of this can be optimized.

Furthermore, it is possible to consider an ECOFusion design using deuterium and Helium-3 nuclei as fuel. In that case, the fusion products are Heluim-4 and a proton, and none of the neutron problems are present. The problem here is that the cross section for the deuterium-He3 reaction is smaller than it is for deuterium-tritium, and you also have to deal with a Helium ion that can be doubly or triply charged. So for those reasons my first design for ECOFusion is for deuterium-tritium, but the aneutronic option is of great interest for future study.



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 10:17 AM
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OP. Someone beat them to the punch and at a cheaper price point and smaller size.

Locheed martins compact fusion reactor

Prolly be 2017 or late 2018 according to testing apparently before it is out of Beta.



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 10:22 AM
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originally posted by: ManFromEurope
Will the ions be fast enough to break the Coulomb-barrier? Doesn't that take 4.5 x 10^7 K? Source

And wow, that ion-density seems extreme.. 2 x 10^14 s/cm³? Source


How much Ampere will that take, are your 10kA enough to provide the neccessary MeV? How many would that be, I don't know.


In ECOFusion, the ions are directly accelerated electro-statically and hence all of the ions have the velocity conditions ideal for fusion to occur.

The beam currents are indeed large by accelerator standards, but it is well known that beam stacking and cooling can allow for currents vastly larger than what are obtainable without using those techniques.

Of course, the current of the beams are independent from their energy, so I don't really know what you mean by the last question.



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 10:29 AM
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originally posted by: yuppa
OP. Someone beat them to the punch and at a cheaper price point and smaller size.

Locheed martins compact fusion reactor

Prolly be 2017 or late 2018 according to testing apparently before it is out of Beta.


In business, investors want to see their return in less than two years, so that needs to be taken into consideration, as well as mass marketability.



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 10:36 AM
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originally posted by: InTheLight

originally posted by: yuppa
OP. Someone beat them to the punch and at a cheaper price point and smaller size.

Locheed martins compact fusion reactor

Prolly be 2017 or late 2018 according to testing apparently before it is out of Beta.


In business, investors want to see their return in less than two years, so that needs to be taken into consideration, as well as mass marketability.


Its government subsidized so not real need to do so. And its gonna be very mass marketetable. As in could replace all engines and generators that run on oil. Thats the reason its taking a while so the oil companies can convert over to this.



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 11:12 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr
redacted

Thanks for the reply. The core of the eco fusion chambers is one thing, how big would the rings be? The whole facility in so many acres?


A single ring is one meter high by three meters wide by 22 meters long in the present design, and the output power is about 50 kW, continuous, per ring. You would need many rings to replace the core of a coal fired plant, but once you do the acres of that plant would be the same. You'd just swap the cores.



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 11:16 AM
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originally posted by: InTheLight
www.ecofusionpower.com...

It seems to be a great deal of money required just for one prototype?

Would smaller personal-use units be a possibility, and can sea water, fresh water and/or rain water be used?


The price is high because it is a science research project. It is actually about 1000 times less than the cost of the mainstream approach, ITER.

Any source of deuterium and tritium can serve as the fuel. The dream is to indeed also have small units that you could put in your own backyard, with the grid only there for backup.

edit on 18-5-2016 by delbertlarson because: typo fix



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 12:44 PM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

Has the thought of using Floride-Lithium-Beryllium fluoride molten salt crossed your desk? It has the benefit of being both a coolant and producer of tritium for the D-T fusion reaction.

A liquid FLiBe recirculation curtain was demonstrated at the Chinese EAST reactor.

I believe there will be several types of fusion reactors. The stellarator in Germany, Lockheeds CFR, MIT's ARC, China's EAST, and probably a couple I am missing.

Thanks for the post and answers! Best wishes on your endeavors!



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 01:36 PM
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originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
a reply to: delbertlarson

Has the thought of using Floride-Lithium-Beryllium fluoride molten salt crossed your desk? It has the benefit of being both a coolant and producer of tritium for the D-T fusion reaction.

A liquid FLiBe recirculation curtain was demonstrated at the Chinese EAST reactor.

I believe there will be several types of fusion reactors. The stellarator in Germany, Lockheeds CFR, MIT's ARC, China's EAST, and probably a couple I am missing.

Thanks for the post and answers! Best wishes on your endeavors!



Using Lithium to generate the tritium is something that is part of the design document for ECOFusion. By using Lithium, it and deuterium are the fuel. Deuterium is abundant, but the proper isotope of Lithium is less so. And therefore eventually we will need to run ECOFusion in a deuterium-deuterium mode to produce the tritium (and He3). But in the near term Lithium blankets will be a big plus. The Lithium will also absorb many problematic neutrons, and produce some extra energy in the process.

Despite knowing that Lithium would be beneficial, I was unaware of the Chinese EAST reactor. Thanks for pointing this out!



posted on May, 18 2016 @ 03:13 PM
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