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Clean low cost hydrogen boron fusion and impact on environment

Bobfitz1

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It will take several decades for any new energy solution to replace fossil fuels across the globe. Doesn't matter if its PV, Wind, Hydrogen Boron or some mythical cold fusion. In a decade PV and batteries will be even cheaper and more efficient with the added benefit of having decades of market acceptance. LPP is at least a decade away from having a marketable product, and that's always been the deal with fusion, its always a decade away. Still, best case lets say they get a working, profitable reactor by then. They still have to deal with getting regulatory approval, and more importantly acceptance by the general populace. The NIMBYers will prevent any sort of nuclear reactor (Fission, Fusion, safe or unsafe) from being installed anywhere (at least in the US) quickly. By the time enough of these reactors are online to matter PV could have already completely replaced fossil fuels.
In the grand scheme of things a few million isn't significant enough to matter, but its going to take real money to get these to market, and that's not worth doing.

Your points are mostly logical and supportable, so reasonable people can disagree.
However, while obstacles for any course of disruptive change can be foreseen, obstacles are meant to be solved or minimized by creativity, hard work, unforeseen add'l tech discoveries and motivation by deep pocket corporations eager to make massive profits from the disruption. If Elon Musk and his lieutenants had looked at all the obstacles to bringing great EVs to market and threatening the huge ICE companies, blinked and not tried, where would EV progress be now?

That difficulties would attend fusion success is no reason to not fund research into promising alternate approaches that cost a pittance compared to what's being wasted on approaches doomed to economic failure.
 

nwdiver

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Feb 17, 2013
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That difficulties would attend fusion success is no reason to not fund research into promising alternate approaches that cost a pittance compared to what's being wasted on approaches doomed to economic failure.

Possibly. But it's important to keep perspective. LPP is unproven technology that may never happen. PV, Wind and storage actually exist are cost effective. LPP is a lottery ticket while renewables are your 401k. The lottery is fun but you'd be a fool to count on it for retirement.
 

mblakele

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Mar 7, 2016
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Possibly. But it's important to keep perspective. LPP is unproven technology that may never happen. PV, Wind and storage actually exist are cost effective. LPP is a lottery ticket while renewables are your 401k. The lottery is fun but you'd be a fool to count on it for retirement.

I don't disagree. But USA GDP is about $19T. We should be able to afford a few million for energy research lottery tickets.
 
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Dutchie

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Jun 9, 2013
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Possibly. But it's important to keep perspective. LPP is unproven technology that may never happen. PV, Wind and storage actually exist are cost effective. LPP is a lottery ticket while renewables are your 401k. The lottery is fun but you'd be a fool to count on it for retirement.

Agree, the Wefunder campaign is closing on April 30th. If you are in for a lottery ticket, I strongly encourage to invest. Don't invest more than you can loose. I did invest, and though I think it is a gamble I do think that hitting the jackpot with LPPFusion is much larger than any other lottery. No one has ever come with any theory why is school NOT work. LPPFusion | Cheap, safe, and clean energy generator: the power of the sun recreated on Earth | Wefunder

Besides;
What is hardly mentioned is that there is also a secondary application for when this fusion thing does not work out, and that is for a strong X-Ray generator. The device can be mounted on a truck and be used to scan bridges and other infrastructure objects for cracks etc. The plan is there, and some government agencies have shown interest. There are just no resources at this moment to develop it further.

So, even if the fusion does not pan out, there is a businessplan ready to go.
 
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Uncle Paul

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Nov 1, 2013
6,299
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It was thought that traditional Nuclear power plants would create Electricity so cheaply that there would not even be a need for meters.

Unlimited power created at so little cost that consumers could lead a life of leisure with machines making everything for us at almost no cost.

When reality set in, those dreams were put aside.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

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Jul 12, 2012
12,685
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Maine
It was thought that traditional Nuclear power plants would create Electricity so cheaply that there would not even be a need for meters.

Unlimited power created at so little cost that consumers could lead a life of leisure with machines making everything for us at almost no cost.

When reality set in, those dreams were put aside.

It was about fusion, not fission. Underestimated the difficulty.
 

Bobfitz1

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Sep 24, 2012
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It was thought that traditional Nuclear power plants would create Electricity so cheaply that there would not even be a need for meters.
Unlimited power created at so little cost that consumers could lead a life of leisure with machines making everything for us at almost no cost.
When reality set in, those dreams were put aside.

It is indeed true that 60, 70 years ago backers of fission nuclear power made economic claims that were unsupported by the realities of reactor size, expensive safety measures and disposal of radioactive waste.

It's not logical to then imply that a totally different fusion technology could not possibly turn out to be very low cost compared to all alternatives. No one claims fusion energy would be free to all on demand. The electricity fusion might produce would be metered the same as any other source the electric utilities would deliver.
 

Bobfitz1

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Possibly. But it's important to keep perspective. LPP is unproven technology that may never happen. PV, Wind and storage actually exist are cost effective. LPP is a lottery ticket while renewables are your 401k. The lottery is fun but you'd be a fool to count on it for retirement.

Your analogy is one a number of us who have 'bought a ticket' have used at times. It would be crazy to stop building solar and wind and funding more research into them in the hope that a much lower cost source may be invented. But no one advocates that. The difference between LPP and a lottery ticket is a lottery ticket has a tiny chance of paying the winning individual a large sum. It may change the winners life for the better, but not the lives of anyone else or the environment. I think its more accurate to consider LPP as a very high risk investment with a very high investor reward if the company succeeds and goes all the way.

Since I invested I believe LPPFusion progress has made it a high risk investment with the same very high possible rewards.
Some investors like Ron Baron with Tesla, believe that while the great majority of funds should be invested in established and stable companies that will deliver decent gains over time, some small percentage should be invested in companies that may fail but which have the potential to achieve massive returns. The Apples, Amazons, Netflix and Tesla.

My reward if LPP should succeed won't be a big payday I don't really need at that time in my life. It will be knowing I helped make something extraordinary come about that may, after I'm gone, help save the planet for mankind and all other species who may go extinct if the environment continues it's downward spiral. Beats a lottery ticket anytime.
 
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Dutchie

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Your analogy is one a number of us who have 'bought a ticket' have used at times. It would be crazy to stop building solar and wind and funding more research into them in the hope that a much lower cost source may be invented. But no one advocates that. The difference between LPP and a lottery ticket is a lottery ticket has a tiny chance of paying the winning individual a large sum. It may change the winners life for the better, but not the lives of anyone else or the environment. I think its more accurate to consider LPP as a very high risk investment with a very high investor reward if the company succeeds and goes all the way.

Since I invested I believe LPPFusion progress has made it a high risk investment with the same very high possible rewards.
Some investors like Ron Baron with Tesla, believe that while the great majority of funds should be invested in established and stable companies that will deliver decent gains over time, some small percentage should be invested in companies that may fail but which have the potential to achieve massive returns. The Apples, Amazons, Netflix and Tesla.

My reward if LPP should succeed won't be a big payday I don't really need at that time in my life. It will be knowing I helped make something extraordinary come about that may, after I'm gone, help save the planet for mankind and all other species who may go extinct if the environment continues it's downward spiral. Beats a lottery ticket anytime.

Very well said Bob. I am also in that category. I bought the shares and they are deep down in a drawer somewhere. I don't bet on it for my retirement. You know wouldn't everyone have bought shares — knowing what they know now — in some obscure software company in the end of the '70-s which was founded by a nerd called Bill Gates or even a computer company called Apple (of all names possible) or even some guys have a search engine called Google at the end of last century?
Knowing what I know now with the means I have, I would have been a fool not to invest. Could be the biggest mistake of my life.
Besides, just dreaming of the getting a new Roadster in due time makes the investment worth it..
 
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nwdiver

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Feb 17, 2013
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Very well said Bob. I am also in that category. I bought the shares and they are deep down in a drawer somewhere. I don't bet on it for my retirement. You know wouldn't everyone have bought shares — knowing what they know now — in some obscure software company in the end of the '70-s which was founded by a nerd called Bill Gates or even a computer company called Apple (of all names possible) or even some guys have a search engine called Google at the end of last century?
Knowing what I know now with the means I have, I would have been a fool not to invest. Could be the biggest mistake of my life.
Besides, just dreaming of the getting a new Roadster in due time makes the investment worth it..

As far as climate solutions go LPP isn't an investment. It's a gamble. Solar, wind and storage are investments. HUUUGE difference.
 
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Bobfitz1

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I really hope the LPP fusion approach works, and I donated a small amount of money, but here are some issues I see:
1. Eric Lerner probably doesn’t have the business or technical management experience necessary to make this a success, even if the science works. Evidence of this can be seen in his failure to attract the necessary capital and manpower despite decades of trying. He is far too suspicious of losing control to bring in people who could help. This has been fatal to many startups.
2. A major technical concern is that he is hoping his device can create gargantuan magnetic fields that will activate a quantum effect which will prevent the plasmoid from cooling due to Bremsstrahlung radiation. This effect has never been seen before at this scale. Also, some doubt whether the device is actually generating the required magnetic field strength.
3. It is highly doubtful Lerner actually has a detailed theory that describes what is going on inside the plasmoid. He has a few equations, some sketches, and intuitive hunches. That may be enough. But the mainstream fusion field took decades to work out an understanding of what a tokamak plasma is doing, and they still don’t have a complete picture. They thought it was simple in the beginning and that led to naive optimism. The same thing may be going on here.

These are all excellent questions and I'll try to give brief partial answers. Since you have invested a bit, you should be able to dial into one of the monthly updates Eric Lerner conducts with investors. He can be very specific on all of these questions.

1. Lerner could give examples of technology startups that took money from some type of VC and subsequently lost control.
He will not need to relinquish control of the company to hire excellent technical people and managers should he succeed in achieving net fusion energy, nor to attract all the capital needed to engineer and build prototype generators. Net energy has been the holy grail of fusion research for more than a half century. Any company that reaches it will have no problem attracting resources. Despite years of financial and technical challenges LPPFusion is in a position this year to show whether or not much greater plasma densities can be reached which increase fusion yield with deuterium greatly. Should that step succeed they will move on to use pB11 and likely be first in the world to get significant fusion energy output using this ideal fuel.

2. The quantum mechanics showing a giga gauss magnetic field will limit excessive Bremsstrahlung radiation from electrons in the plasma seem to be straight forward. The formation of short lived magnetic 'plasmoid' structures and the incredible compression forces created are all based on magnetic field interactions that are understood. As (if) much higher densities are produced by stronger plasmoids, the magnetic field within the compressed plasma will become stronger and stronger.
Ultimately both reaching giga gauss field strength and measuring it's effect on levels of Bremsstrahlung radiation will only be
proven by actually doing the experiments. If there is no radiation reduction when LPP achieves giga gauss fields, and there is no technical adjustment possible to make it work as theoretically predicted, then the DPF approach will approach but never reach net energy.

3. Lerner does have a theory of how the pinch effect emerges from various plasma instabilities and some elements have been shown to be right based on experiments with the DPF. LPP has also supported years of difficult modeling work designed to better understand all the variables in play and how those effect plasmoid formation, compression and release of charged particle streams. After 50 years of expensive research there is a great deal known about tokamak plasma physics. Lerner asserts that the difficulties that keep arising with tokamaks are due to them fighting the inherent instabilities exhibited by high energy plasmas. That the energy discharged between carefully designed electrodes to create the plasma and then form the magnetic 'pinch' effect occurs because of several instabilities, his belief that the instabilities must be used rather than suppressed seems well proven at this time. The DPF would not be producing any measurable fusion output without plasma instabilities.
 
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Bobfitz1

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As far as climate solutions go LPP isn't an investment. It's a gamble. Solar, wind and storage are investments. HUUUGE difference.

Apologies @nwdiver, I should have posted a link to a post on the SpaceX LPPFusion thread discussing why, as good as solar PV and wind technologies are doing now, a much lower cost alternative is still needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change the are predicted.
Promising Fusion research with space propulsion applications

"converting the planet to sustainable energy over 30 to 50 years is nowhere near fast enough.
The goal is actually to replace fossil fuels as rapidly as possible to as to stop the continued increases in atmospheric CO2 level which are driving global warming and looming environmental disaster."
 

nwdiver

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Feb 17, 2013
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a much lower cost alternative is still needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change the are predicted.

That's not supported by the facts. Wind and Solar are already the cheapest sources of electricity. The biggest ingredient lacking to get us past the finish line is storage. Cost-Effective power to gas could be an even more important breakthrough than LPP and we know power to gas works... the same cannot be said for LPP.

There's a fine line between feeding hope and feeding FUD. I had a co-worker that whose disinterest in solar was fed by his belief that it wasn't worth the investment because the soon-to-be-perfected 'E-Cat' would render solar obsolete. There's always a shiny object to distract people from the real solutions....

We need to continue investing in wind, solar and storage under the assumption that it's the only option (because it almost certainly is). We need to invest in LPP on the same level someone buys power ball tickets, it would be awesome if it paid off but knowing it almost certainly won't.
 

Bobfitz1

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What's the policy on creating new threads instead of continuing existing ones?
LPP questions/discussion
Eric Lerner of Focus Fusion
I certainly hope that LPP succeeds, but it seemed they were within a year from net positive energy in 2014, and it seems they're within a year of that in 2018.
Here's some independent discussion of them from 2016: Focus Fusion? - International Skeptics Forum

I think members are free to create new threads as they wish. Based on past experience I believe having more than just a few treads is not great, as people ask good (or poor) questions which are already answered at length on one of the other threads.

The two threads you show date back to 2014. The currently active ones are this thread, one under SpaceX,
Promising Fusion research with space propulsion applications and the last few pages on LPP questions/discussion.

A quick look at your Skeptics forum shows it is useless for an informed discussion of LPPFusion and it's fusion technology.
The posters tend to be people who only investigate for a half hour or just long enough to ridicule science they don't understand and won't make the effort to delve deeply into.
I doubt if anyone posting there on LPP has ever had a paper published by a peer reviewed physics journal. Eric Lerner has had many accepted and published. There are conferences held each year attended by researchers of Dense Plasma Focus machines from around the world. Lerner has presented at these and is respected within this narrow plasma physics sub field.

Lerner does believe there is a great deal of scientific evidence which calls the Big Bang theory into serious question. He is far from alone, going all the way back to Hannes Alfven, winner of the 1970 Nobel prize in Physics.
I was surprised myself when I saw the very large amount of evidence Lerner lays out in this web article on LPP website.
The Growing Case Against the Big Bang
I don't have the astronomy/cosmology knowledge to evaluate each of his examples. But it does convince me that the validity of the theory is not nearly as cut, dried and proven as the mainstream scientists believe. It should come as no surprise that grants for research are rarely given to those who disagree.
 

Bobfitz1

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Sep 24, 2012
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@Bobfitz1 said:
"a much lower cost alternative is still needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change the are predicted."

That's not supported by the facts. Wind and Solar are already the cheapest sources of electricity. The biggest ingredient lacking to get us past the finish line is storage. Cost-Effective power to gas could be an even more important breakthrough than LPP and we know power to gas works... the same cannot be said for LPP. There's a fine line between feeding hope and feeding FUD. I had a co-worker that whose disinterest in solar was fed by his belief that it wasn't worth the investment because the soon-to-be-perfected 'E-Cat' would render solar obsolete. There's always a shiny object to distract people from the real solutions....
We need to continue investing in wind, solar and storage under the assumption that it's the only option (because it almost certainly is). We need to invest in LPP on the same level someone buys power ball tickets, it would be awesome if it paid off but knowing it almost certainly won't.

Actually what I wrote is absolutely supported by the facts. Atmospheric CO2 reached and passed 400 ppm just last year. The rate at which more CO2 is emitted is so high that the ppm goes up over 2 ppm each year. Look for articles on just how long it will take renewables to even halve CO2 emissions. It is understood that they won't fully replace fossil fuels until 2040 or 2050.
So under the best scenarios CO2 won't level off until it hits 430 to 440 ppm. Environmental advocates like Bill McKibben and 360.org believe 350 ppm is the highest CO2 level that will avoid major damage from warming temperatures.

No one supporting LPP remotely suggests it's not vital that the world go full speed ahead with renewables. That is all that can be done to start slowing down CO2 and global warming right now. But knowing that the best those can do still leaves disastrous consequences from global warming, it's irresponsible not to fund an approach that has even a small chance to develop a technology that might stop levels from increasing 10 or 20 years sooner and thereby reduce somewhat the eventual temperature increases. The more viable solutions in the toolkit the better. It's not renewables or cheap fusion. Ideally it would be taking advantage of all solutions to get the job done... and fast as possible.
 
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nwdiver

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Feb 17, 2013
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Actually what I wrote is absolutely supported by the facts.

??? If solar and wind are already cheaper than fossil fuels then why would we 'need' cheaper alternatives? I agree it would be helpful but it's certainly not 'needed'. Solar, Wind and storage are more than capable of accomplishing what needs to be done. As a society we're barely even trying.
 
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