High Density Plasma Toroid Fusion Question

Hey Folks:

Here are some of the sites, posts and discussions from my inquires in the field of hydrogen-boron fusion technology.

Two science writers have showed interest in doing stories and I got a e-mail from Popular Mechanics that they intend to do a story, no date set yet, I will keep you in formed.

I have not invested yet, I have many feelers out to academics, physic and science forums, and science magazines

 In my searches for efficient home technology I came across Electron Power Systems. I E-mailed EPS about the obvious synergies for their home generator with the power chips of Borealis. I also contacted Borealis. I have been mediating an argument between Clint Seward of Electron Power Systems  http://www.electronpowersystems.com  with Rodney T. Cox  of http://www.powerchips.gi/.  Basically Rodney said they got the math wrong and NASA is right and Clint says MIT doesn’t get their math wrong.  I thought you may have an interest and be of help. Both companies are proposing very disruptive technologies, Borealis in thermoelectrics and EPS in micro fusion.  

  Mediating, in this case, means in the middle of e-mail exchanges.
The issue seems to be Dr. Chen’s paper and whether his assumptions of the aspect ratio for the plasma toroids, match the model of Clint Seward proposed device. Will the ion stability condition be satisfied to maintain equilibrium?
I’m in way over my head here and have been seeking help from interested parties, if you know any plasma physicist that may help that would be great. All pertinent papers are at EPS’s web site.

  You may be familiar with Eric Lerner’s work, Focus Fusion http://integrityresinst.crosswinds.net/FocusFusion-Ver5.htm#_Toc42793577 , His theories on quasars, his book, The Big Bang Never Happened are very interesting. I spoke with him about my concerns regarding EPS’s fusion model. Below are his points and Clint Seward’s responses. Please share any thoughts you have.

Focus Fusion seems to making progress, they got threw gate 1 for a 2 million NIST grant for a spin off of their fusion technology to build a low cost X-ray source.

"Hi Erich,

I glanced at the NASA analysis and the reply, neither of which address
the fusion application.  A few points:

1)NASA is right that plasmoids, smoke rings of plasma can easily be
crated by many approaches. The photos don’t prove that anything else is
happening. As seen in our experiments, you need a lot of diagnostics to
understand what is going on in a plasma and the EPS experiments don’t
seem to use many other than the photos.

2)The NASA report pointed out VERY serious algebraic errors, leading to
errors of many orders of magnitude in Chen’s work. This is of concern to
say the least.

3)NASA’s stability analysis seems a bit simple minded, so I would not
fully trust it.

3) Shooting two plasmoids at each other will not necessarily lead to net
fusion energy. Dan Wells worked on this idea for quite some time, but he
also used an external magnetic field to compress the plasmoids when they
hit and to keep them together. The problem is that if to plasmoid hit
each other at high velocity, it is not clear that they will stick
together. If  they merely collide or pass through each other, the
collision time will be short. With a velocity of 3×10^8 cm/sec, you only
have a collision time of a few nanoseconds with a plasmoid a few cm
across. To get net energy, you need to have about 3% of the particles
fusing.  For pB11 this will require ion densities in excess of
3×10^22/cc. This is close to 100 times more than the densities claimed
by EPS. Also, this means that the initial energy has to be nearly a GJ–
a billion joules. That is a lot of energy. But to make it work, either
you have to get the density up by a factor of 100 or make the plasmoids
stick together for 100 times longer. There does not seem to be any
experimental or theoretical reasoning shown that would indicate that
much longer confinement times will happen.

Over all, the EPS project is at a much earlier stage of development than
focus fusion. They have some experiments with a few diagnostics and some
theoretical ideas, but they have not demonstrated even theoretically
that net energy could be produced.  Our project has a detailed theory,
published for the most part in peer-reviewed journals (or favorably
reviewed through the NIST process), and experiments with good
diagnostics that confirms at least part of the theory. We are also
extrapolating from the huge data base of experimental studies with the
dense plasma focus.

Of course, they, like us would need money to do the diagnostics. But
they should at least demonstrate theoretically that they can reach break
even. I don’t see how they  can justify the 1% or 10% collision they
claim.

I hope this is of some use.  That’s all I have time for on EPS. Glad to
answer questions on focus fusion when you get them.

Eric"

And Clint’s response:

"Dear Erich,

Thanks for the info from Eric Lerner.  We have information to respond to each of his points.

1. First, be a bit careful of the NASA report.  It was based on the papers we had published up until 1999.  They did not include any information MIT gave in response to their comments and questions.

NASA was correct.  You need a lot of diagnostics.  We have proposals to our sponsors to fund the diagnostics.  We shall see.

2.  The NASA report did find algebraic errors.  We corrected them all.  But since it was not done before 1999 they elected not to include them or acknowledge them intheir report.  In fairness, the reviewer, MSE engineering, did request further NASA funding to begin research into our technology, where they planned to include some of the information they omitted, but NASA did not fund any further work.

3a. NASA’s stability analysis is not complete.  MIT completed such analysis, and NASA elected to not include it in the report.  MIT subsequently published it in a peer reviewed journal.  That paper is on our website.

3b. Eric’s concern about shooting plasmoids is well founded.  Our method is much different, and we have found a way around this.  Eric points out that it is not clear the plasmoids will "stick together."  Actually, this is not the case.  Well’s data shows clearly that two toroids will indeed "stick together."  Read his paper that I have referenced in our documents.  

3c.  Eric is correct as to the ion density.  We can demonstrate that the ion density is in the range that he has noted.  I might have sent you a copy of this paper, but will do so if you have interest.  

3d. We have completed theory and density of the order of magnitude Eric is calculating.  In addition, we have calculations, not yet published, that demonstrate that two toroids will adhere together, will persist for several seconds, and will pass break even.  We can make this discussion available if you have interest, but caution that it is highly proprietary.  

Eric is correct that from what we have published and from what he can see it looks like we are in an early stage.  Actually, the EST is quite a bit further along.  The theory is complete enough to show break even with a simple apparatus.  

Hopefully this helps.

Clint Seward"

  Clint Seward recently sent me this e-mail, the applications, across such a broad spectrum, deserve your attention. Delphi…..Wow!

 "An independent consulting group in Washington,DC has just reviewed our
technology for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  They just sent me a
draft for comments, and I have included it below.  It is based on their
having talked with our technology partners.

Since it is a full page of technical detail before the conclusion, I have
copied the conclusion here first so you get the idea of their review.

"MIT considers these plasmas a revolutionary breakthrough, with Delphi’s
chief scientist and senior manager for advanced technology both agreeing
that EST/SPT physics are repeatable and theoretically explainable.  MIT and
EPS have jointly authored numerous professional papers describing their
work.  (Delphi is a $33B company, the spun off Delco  Division of General
Motors).

Revolutionary Impact: High – reliable generation and acceleration of these
plasmas using compact mobile machinery could provide US forces with a unique
generic defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, manned and unmanned
aircraft, and kinetic-energy projectiles of all sizes, velocities and
compositions."

Please let me klnow what you think.

Clint

Technology Review of Electron Power Systems (by an independent consulting
group) for Office Of The Secretary Of Defense        July 2004

Technology Title: Electron spiral toroids (EST) as kinetic-energy weapons
(KEWs)

Development Organization: Electron Power Systems, Inc., Acton, Mass.

Description: EPS teamed with MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center under an
STTR grant to develop a theoretical framework and laboratory methods for
reliably creating small (0.5-1.0 cm diameter) self-organized plasmas, called
"electron spiral toroids" (ESTs) or "spiral plasma toroids" (SPTs). EST
electrons travel in parallel orbits around a torus in densities sufficient
to create a stable, self-sustaining internal magnetic field. These novel
laboratory-level plasmas, whose physics resembles that of ball lightning,
are unusual in that they remain stable in partial atmospheres without
requiring external magnetic fields for their containment, yet can also be
accelerated in a directed fashion to potentially very high velocities (e.g.,
600 km/sec) and kinetic energies. Parallel work on formation and magnetic
acceleration of "compact toroids" is also underway at DoE’s Livermore lab
and at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Kirtland AFB, NM, although
these plasmas – which can only exist in vacuum – require large (multi-meter
long) machinery that uses magnetic field pressures associated with "Tokamak"
fusion reactors to create large-diameter (0.5-1.0 meter) plasmas, which must
then be greatly reduced in diameter and volume to be useful. By contrast,
EPS uses much smaller, cheaper hardware to repeatably generate
high-ion-density plasmas that have remained stable in air for up to 0.6
seconds at 1-Torr atmospheric pressures. The EPS/MIT work has drawn interest
from MDA and DTRA for  DEW/KEW applications and from Delphi Corporation, a
major automotive electronics firm, which envisions an automotive mini-fusion
reactor that would collide two small toroids generated by 1-meter-long
"neutron tubes" and capture the heat from their collision.

Potential Operational Payoff: used as KEWs, even a tiny (microscopic-scale)
EST would generate enough kinetic energy to destroy any military vehicle or
projectile operating in the atmosphere, including solid-rod anti-armor
penetrators. These charge-neutral plasmas would be produced in large numbers
in rapid succession to form a steerable beam. Impact velocities of 600
km/sec, possibly several times higher, may be possible, based on MIT’s
extrapolation of AFRL’s compact-toroid acceleration experiments for vacuum.

Metrics:
– Effects: target destruction by kinetic impacts far above hyper velocities
(defined by the speed of sound in metal and nonmetal targets)
– Speed: up to 600 km/sec (MIT estimate), possibly up to 2000 km/sec (EPS
estimate)
– Range: endoatmospheric line-of-sight up to space/atmosphere boundary
(officially defined as 62 miles)
– Power requirements: EPS proposes using EST mini-fusion reactors, whose
initial power could be provided by a car battery, to produce and accelerate
its ESTs.

Cost: no cost data available. The complexity of reliable mini-toroid
formation and acceleration with compact, relatively low-cost equipment
remains to be determined. Yet the fact that the EPS/MIT STTR work this
technology has attracted interest from Delphi is very significant, as the
automotive electronics industry is considered to be extremely demanding of
functionality per dollar and pound (e.g., mil-spec performance at
Wal-Mart-class ‘commodity’ prices).

Estimated Development Funding, FY 2005-2011 (combined KEW, mini-reactor)
– appr. $2M so far (Army Research Office, NASA SBIR, NASA-IAC (Institute for
Advanced Concepts) grant, BMDO STTR for $1M). EPS estimate: over FY
2005-2009, would need $0.5-$1.0M/yr (not including funding for MIT support),
but with a Phase 1 and 2 SBIR, could achieve a lab demonstration (TRL 4-5)
within 2.5-3 years of a proof-of-principle device that hits targets with
visible kinetic damage. Industrial co-funding from strategic partners
(agreements with Raytheon, Delphi (formerly GM Delco) and Titan Pulse Power)
could accelerate this.
-MIT estimate: with adequate staff and facilities funding ("at least
$2-$5M/year"), could demonstrate basic physics within 2 years, followed by
development of an integratable engineering package.

TRL 3-4. MIT considers these plasmas a revolutionary breakthrough, with
Delphi’s chief scientist and senior manager for advanced technology both
agreeing that EST/SPT physics are repeatable and theoretically explainable.
MIT and EPS have jointly authored numerous professional papers describing
their work.

Revolutionary Impact: High – reliable generation and acceleration of these
plasmas using compact mobile machinery could provide US forces with a unique
generic defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, manned and unmanned
aircraft, and kinetic-energy projectiles of all sizes, velocities and
compositions."

 It does sound to good to be true however with names like MIT, Delphi, STTR grants ,NIST grants etc., popping up all over, I have to keep investigating.

There are three companies pursuing hydrogen-boron plasma toroid fusion, Paul Koloc, Prometheus II, Eric Lerner, Focus Fusion and EPS. I can go into their histories if you are interested

I have been at this for a few months, you have seen the most important posts among my contacts with the Fusion players. Look over their web sites and tell me what you think. EPS seems the strongest and most advanced, and I love the scalability, cars, distributed power, airplanes, space propulsion, etc.

Been sending my posted questions to academics, science magazines, and forums, not a whole lot of responses.

Also, a Recent speech by Rodney Cox : http://www.borealis.gi/press/NEW-GOLDEN-AGE-IBM.Speech.6=04.pdf is very inspiring.  The big line of the speech is about power being to cheap to meter.
 Thomas Friedman, of the Times, wrote a great column last month. His dream of head lines he would read on return from sabbatical, the top one, China and America announce Manhattan Project for Clean Energy. The geopolitical implications of china’s oil thirst as the paramount problem of our time.  
The New York Times> Search> Abstract

Thank you for your attention

Erich J. Knight
Shenandoah Gardens
1047 Dave Berry Rd. McGaheysville, VA, 22840
(540) 289-9750