Friday, June 12, 2009

The Future Of Energy

I don't agree with all the prescriptions presented. However, his outline of the problem is good for some critical thinking. The secret word is Terawatt. But a terawatt is only a rate of delivery. To be really useful it has to be ready to go when you need it. That would be terawatt-hours. And terawatt-days. And terawatt-months. And terawatt-years. And then comes reliability. Can the production be sustained? What is the up time? Is the resource seasonal? Can it be matched to demand?

I do like his idea about upping the research budget to $10 billion a year. I know. A quick ramp up will encourage a lot of waste. The problem is that you never know where a good idea will come from. Suppose we spend that amount in inflation adjusted dollars for 20 years. That is $200 billion. Suppose we only get a significant pay off from 10%. If that 10% covers even half our energy supplies (i.e. what ever technology that is developed is cheaper than the alternatives) it will have paid for itself.

There are a lot of interesting ideas available. Pebble Bed Reactors, Molten Salt Reactors, and others.

We need to phase out subsidies for solar and wind. When they become economical they will roll out on their own.

My thoughts? Well they drift back as always to The Polywell Fusion Reactor.

You can learn the basics of fusion energy by reading Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering

Polywell is a little more complicated. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

The American Thinker has a good article up with the basics.

Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

Cross Posted at Classical Values


J Carlton said...

Simon, I think you should explain just a little more about polywell in articles like this before saying why we should be spending more money on it. Remember, most people have never heard of polywell yet and the only physics experience they have had is ExLax, which may have been moving but produces very little energy knwledge.

M. Simon said...

I do have a link to the American Thinker article. And a bit I did a long time ago that kind of runs it down.

It would be nice if I could say everything all the time but then no one would read it.

99% said...

To counteract your propaganda, I'll remind the readers that the reason nobody has ever heard of polywell is because the results have never been published or replicated independently. No demonstation has ever been provided, either.

Q: Why hasn't Polywell been funded by the Obama Administration?

A: Because Anecdotes Are Not Enough!

M. Simon said...

My Dearest 99,

You might wish to study up on the code required to translate words into meaning.

The Obama Admin is funding the experiments and has even put up $2 million extra in TARP funds.

However, that is not Full funding. Full funding would include a continuous operation unit to check for operational instabilities that may not show up in pulsed operation.

It wouldn't hurt to start budgetary and preliminary engineering investigations for such a device.

BTW the US Navy is the only peer the EMC2 crew has to convince since all the money is being funneled through them. So far the Navy is satisfied.

Tom Cuddihy said...

Simon, great article!

Your efforts to raise awareness have been very successful lately. I found out about the article when my dad emailed it to me--I don't think he knew of polywell before then & he understood the cocept right away.