Tech Tuesday for 12/4

Oscar Gordon

A Navy Turbine Tech who learned to spin wrenches on old cars, Oscar has since been trained as an Engineer & Software Developer & now writes tools for other engineers. When not in his shop or at work, he can be found spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, kayaking, gaming, or whatever strikes his fancy & fits in the budget.

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3 Responses

  1. Dennis Brown says:

    The stellarator design required magnets that 20 years ago, just simply were beyond anyone’s or even computer’s ability to design and manufacture. Not so today thanks to advancements in super computers and computer controlled mfg. This device’s design (but certainly not this device) is very likely a viable approach to successful fusion in the near future. Unlike the Tokamak’s ( which are pulsed and very costly – esp. ITER which is still doubling in cost every time one reads about its construction and primary device itself hasn’t even been built) this stellarator can run continuously and apparently, can be mfg within estimated costs!Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Dennis Brown says:

      Was it a breakthrough, or just the natural progression of the tech just finally getting there?

      I’m thinking of something like thisReport

      • My understanding is that this a triumph for large-scale computing — an almost unbelievable number of processor hours to get to a working design.

        Dennis’s remark about ITER’s costs doubling regularly is only part of that story. It seems that every time I read about ITER there’s been another schedule slip — first plasma has been pushed off to 2025 and full power operation to 2035. Actual operation of the follow-on DEMO project, which will generate useful amounts of excess electricity, is sliding towards 2050. Well, maybe. The latest estimates I’ve seen are that DEMO itself will consume something over 500 MW of power during normal operation. At least one systems engineering overview suggests that the enormous power requirements needed to get a DEMO-like plant from idle to full operation impose significant limits on where the plants can be located.Report