Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Results 1 to 27 of 27
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Cikomyr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Gender
    Male

    Default "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    So I saw these news article about China testing out a new fusion reactor next January.. Ish?

    Is there a chance this thing really achieves fusion power closer to being economical? Or it's just a fake science news meant to drive traffic?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    You might want to link to said articles? Did a search and the stuff I found was all months old, and nowhere did it imply that they'd managed to achieve greater power input than put in, merely that they'd managed to get to a temperature of 100 million celsius (which is a level at which hydrogen fusion could happen).

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    There are many "working" fusion reactors around the world today. They are just too complex and inefficient and consume much more more energy to start a fusion reaction than the fusion releases. Those are research reactors to study what exactly happens during the fusion, to get more data and figure out how to make better reactors.
    That's almost certainly what the Chinese are doing.

    The only reactor in construction that I know about, that is expected to produce energy, is the ITER in France, and that's a giant project that already has taken decades of development, is still in construction, and I think is planned to reach the magic threshold of positive output in 2035. You don't build something like that without the world noticing decades before completion.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Bristol, UK

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    You don't build something like that without the world noticing decades before completion.
    Not unless it's a secret. I don't think North Korea is capable, and the USA would probably guess if they tried, but there have been some pretty big secrets.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Not unless it's a secret. I don't think North Korea is capable, and the USA would probably guess if they tried, but there have been some pretty big secrets.
    North Korea is not a rich country. Its GDP is dwarfed by some hundreds of western cities, never mind whole countries. If they could do it, that would imply it's about two orders of magnitude easier than we thought.

    Also, I don't know what the point would be of keeping it secret. I rather think anyone who could pull it off would want to strut and brag somewhat.
    "None of us likes to be hated, none of us likes to be shunned. A natural result of these conditions is, that we consciously or unconsciously pay more attention to tuning our opinions to our neighbor’s pitch and preserving his approval than we do to examining the opinions searchingly and seeing to it that they are right and sound." - Mark Twain

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Cikomyr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    You might want to link to said articles? Did a search and the stuff I found was all months old, and nowhere did it imply that they'd managed to achieve greater power input than put in, merely that they'd managed to get to a temperature of 100 million celsius (which is a level at which hydrogen fusion could happen).
    This one here sir.

    liiiiink

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    This one here sir.

    liiiiink
    OK, I think the most significant part of that article is this:

    China's HL-2M tokamak might be the device that's finally up to that challenge - or at least yields the clues needed to overcome it.

    "HL-2M will provide researchers with valuable data on the compatibility of high-performance fusion plasmas with approaches to more effectively handle the heat and particles exhausted from the core of the device,"


    It's another research reactor. I don't think any of the scientists behind it are claiming it will be the holy grail that will provide more power than it consumes, just that it's another step along the road to that.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Cikomyr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Btw, while researching fusion news for this year, I stumbled on the fact that the US Navy patented Compact Fusion Reactors.

    Is there any meaning to this?

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    druid91's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Lemuria
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    North Korea is not a rich country. Its GDP is dwarfed by some hundreds of western cities, never mind whole countries. If they could do it, that would imply it's about two orders of magnitude easier than we thought.

    Also, I don't know what the point would be of keeping it secret. I rather think anyone who could pull it off would want to strut and brag somewhat.
    Wealth isn't so much relevant as resources and knowledge. as I understand it, between the two of them, South Korea got all the good farmland and the coasts, and North Korea got all the mining and mineral wealth of Korea.

    The fact that they lack dollars isn't really all that important when they can just rip the materials they need out of the ground themselves.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

    Torumekian knight Avatar by Licoot.

    Note to self: Never get involved in an ethics thread again...Especially if I'm defending the empire.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Cikomyr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    Wealth isn't so much relevant as resources and knowledge. as I understand it, between the two of them, South Korea got all the good farmland and the coasts, and North Korea got all the mining and mineral wealth of Korea.

    The fact that they lack dollars isn't really all that important when they can just rip the materials they need out of the ground themselves.
    You need energy and labor to extract these resources from the ground, not to forget substantial capital needed to get the tools needed to do just this. You can either develop a whole economic industry around developing these tools, or you buy them outright with your pure liquid wealth.

    Same thing for the energy. You either buy it or you spend a ludicrous amount of your nation economic development to secure its own source of energy, all of which needs capital, resources and labor of its own.

    Now think how much excess Manpower and resource your nation has after taking care of its own basic needs, like food, shelter, warmth. Add what you already invest in raw materials and manufacturing to outfit your army..

    There's s just not much leftover for nuclear programs.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    It's another research reactor. I don't think any of the scientists behind it are claiming it will be the holy grail that will provide more power than it consumes, just that it's another step along the road to that.
    The road to practical fusion power is unfortunately very long a great many steps are required. I do hope we get it soon. There are so many problems such a technology could help solve, even if it will be highly disruptive to some areas of the world.

    And could we not talk about North Korea please? That's something that can get political really fast.
    Last edited by HandofShadows; 2019-12-28 at 03:49 PM.
    Member of the Giants in the Playground Forum Chapter for the Movement to Reunite Gondwana!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    I am in my 30s now, and I expect to see the first commercial fusion power plant in my lifetime.

    Though I don't expect to see the full effects it will have on the way we think of economy and labor. But then, these things sometimes happen surprisingly quick, so I won't rule that out.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Cikomyr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by HandofShadows View Post
    The road to practical fusion power is unfortunately very long a great many steps are required. I do hope we get it soon. There are so many problems such a technology could help solve, even if it will be highly disruptive to some areas of the world.
    I heard we are 30 years away from developing fusion power?

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Bristol, UK

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    I heard we are 30 years away from developing fusion power?
    I heard we were 50 years away, in the 1980s. It's a guess, and it's really not reliable except in the sense: "at the very least X years away from developing fusiion power".
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Cikomyr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    I heard we were 50 years away, in the 1980s. It's a guess, and it's really not reliable except in the sense: "at the very least X years away from developing fusiion power".
    I know, that's my joke. "We have been 30 years away from having fusion power for 50 years now"

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grey_Wolf_c's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Btw, while researching fusion news for this year, I stumbled on the fact that the US Navy patented Compact Fusion Reactors.

    Is there any meaning to this?
    Isn't that the same Lockheed-Martin Skunkworks reactor that we discussed way back in 2015? IIRC, at the time, Lockheed Martin promised results in 5 years' time, so they have one more year to produce something before their declaration can be tossed in the PR bin with all other promises of functional fusion.

    Grey Wolf
    Interested in MitD? Join us in MitD's thread.
    There is a world of imagination
    Deep in the corners of your mind
    Where reality is an intruder
    And myth and legend thrive
    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Isn't that the same Lockheed-Martin Skunkworks reactor that we discussed way back in 2015? IIRC, at the time, Lockheed Martin promised results in 5 years' time, so they have one more year to produce something before their declaration can be tossed in the PR bin with all other promises of functional fusion.

    Grey Wolf
    I think its quite optimistic of you to hold off even that long.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Btw, while researching fusion news for this year, I stumbled on the fact that the US Navy patented Compact Fusion Reactors.

    Is there any meaning to this?
    Well, in general patents mean that a company is reasonably serious about something. The patent has a limited lifespan, meaning that if it takes more than 20 years to deliver a commercial technology, the patent is worthless because it will expire by then. And it takes a fair bit of work to file one.

    However, with the US Navy, such basic commercial logic probably doesn't apply. The cost of filing a patent is not so great that the navy would actually notice it, and it might well be part of some internal politicking or posturing that we're not privy to.

    So yes, I'm sure it means something. But it's probably not possible to tell what.
    "None of us likes to be hated, none of us likes to be shunned. A natural result of these conditions is, that we consciously or unconsciously pay more attention to tuning our opinions to our neighbor’s pitch and preserving his approval than we do to examining the opinions searchingly and seeing to it that they are right and sound." - Mark Twain

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Spore's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    My last information is that cooling a fusion reactor is the greatest difficulty so far, to a point where the excess heat does not damage the machine AND consumes less energy than it provides.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grey_Wolf_c's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I think its quite optimistic of you to hold off even that long.
    From anyone else, I'd have assumed PR noise immediately, but skunkworks has delivered on big claims in the past. Admittedly, more in the "fly and shoot" engineering than in the "meld atoms together to boil water" engineering, but still.

    Grey Wolf
    Interested in MitD? Join us in MitD's thread.
    There is a world of imagination
    Deep in the corners of your mind
    Where reality is an intruder
    And myth and legend thrive
    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Cikomyr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Isn't that the same Lockheed-Martin Skunkworks reactor that we discussed way back in 2015? IIRC, at the time, Lockheed Martin promised results in 5 years' time, so they have one more year to produce something before their declaration can be tossed in the PR bin with all other promises of functional fusion.

    Grey Wolf
    As far as I know, they announced last year they have given up on the compact design they were hoping to achieve and are instead working on larger prototypes.

    However, they have not abandoned their research, and are still aggressively working through iterations with a milestone achieved for each

    Take that as you will. I still like the idea that a megacorp like Lockheed is willing to throw money at this project. I don't care if it means they'll rival Disney as a world-encompassing megacorp.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Spore View Post
    My last information is that cooling a fusion reactor is the greatest difficulty so far, to a point where the excess heat does not damage the machine AND consumes less energy than it provides.
    In an indirect way, yes. But not really.

    Fusion happens under extreme pressures and temperatures. Since we can't replicate the pressures inside the sun even with massive machines, fusion reactors instead go with very low pressures and absolutely ludicrous temperatures.
    As I understand it, the problem is not so much the hot fusion fuel damaging the reactor, but the reactor walls conducting heat away from the fuel, lowering the temperature below the minimum that is required for fusion at such low pressures.
    The solution for this is to not have the fuel touch the walls of the reactor at all. Since hydrogen at these temperatures becomes plasma and loses its electrons, the hydrogen atoms become positively charged. This makes it possible to push the, away from the walls with very powerful electromagnets. And these electromagnets consume huge amounts of power. All the power that the reactor can produce, plus additional power from another source.

    Finding ways to get a sufficient magnetic field with less power is the big challenge of fusion reactors, as I understand it. One approach is to scale up the whole reactor a lot, to get better efficiency. That's one of the hopes behind ITER, which is just massive.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grey_Wolf_c's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    In an indirect way, yes. But not really.

    Fusion happens under extreme pressures and temperatures. Since we can't replicate the pressures inside the sun even with massive machines, fusion reactors instead go with very low pressures and absolutely ludicrous temperatures.
    As I understand it, the problem is not so much the hot fusion fuel damaging the reactor, but the reactor walls conducting heat away from the fuel, lowering the temperature below the minimum that is required for fusion at such low pressures.
    The solution for this is to not have the fuel touch the walls of the reactor at all. Since hydrogen at these temperatures becomes plasma and loses its electrons, the hydrogen atoms become positively charged. This makes it possible to push the, away from the walls with very powerful electromagnets. And these electromagnets consume huge amounts of power. All the power that the reactor can produce, plus additional power from another source.

    Finding ways to get a sufficient magnetic field with less power is the big challenge of fusion reactors, as I understand it. One approach is to scale up the whole reactor a lot, to get better efficiency. That's one of the hopes behind ITER, which is just massive.
    Alternatively, we also have achieved fusion at room temperature. But generating the muons necessary takes about twice the energy you output from the process.



    As far as I know, no-one is attempting to improve on this approach, though.

    Grey Wolf
    Interested in MitD? Join us in MitD's thread.
    There is a world of imagination
    Deep in the corners of your mind
    Where reality is an intruder
    And myth and legend thrive
    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Cikomyr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    How about in 0-g and a vacuum? Wouldn't that prevent any convection of heat?

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    How about in 0-g and a vacuum? Wouldn't that prevent any convection of heat?
    It would also tear itself apart - a lot of gravity is necessary to hold it together, and while you can get by with pressure instead that precludes a vaccuum. Going with ridiculously high temperatures in a vaccum meanwhile runs into radiation scaling with T^4 instead of the ΔT seen in convection and conduction, which runs into the same heat loss issues.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    Wealth isn't so much relevant as resources and knowledge. as I understand it, between the two of them, South Korea got all the good farmland and the coasts, and North Korea got all the mining and mineral wealth of Korea.

    The fact that they lack dollars isn't really all that important when they can just rip the materials they need out of the ground themselves.
    Well said,if the two countries unite, it may become a rich and powerful country.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: "Chinese new Artificial Sun"

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Alternatively, we also have achieved fusion at room temperature. But generating the muons necessary takes about twice the energy you output from the process.



    As far as I know, no-one is attempting to improve on this approach, though.

    Grey Wolf
    That's like saying nobody is trying to improve the magnet on a stick travel method. If it mathematically cannot break even, there's no point in trying.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •