FF-1 was built in 2009 and we've used it at LPPFusion since to carry out experiments with the goal of achieving net energy. We've achieved the highest mean ion energy of any fusion project. At present we have two of the three necessary components of the Lawson Criterion: temperature and confinement time. The last one, density, is the one we're tackling with the use of beryllium later in the year. Ask me anything!


https://twitter.com/LPPFusion/status/988547185250897921 and https://www.facebook.com/LPPFusion/photos/a.626081134137750.1073741826.191278530951348/1659307610815092/?type=3&theater

You can compare the location where the picture was taken to 1:10 in the trailer for the documentary "Let There Be Light."

Thanks for the questions all! Been fun. Signing off now(9:50 PM EDT)

Comments: 126 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

bambam08280822 karma

What goals are you trying to achieve down the line?

elernerfusion30 karma

Our first goal is to get to net energy. We hope to do this in the next set of experiments with beryllium electrodes and pB11 fuel. Then we need a much larger development project to get a prototype generator ready for manufacture.

demosthenes021 karma

The beryllium is just to help better capture the X-rays or will it help in other ways?

elernerfusion1 karma

The other big help is eliminating heavy metal impurities. In our next experiment, there will be no heavy metals in the chamber.

shezofrene18 karma

What good from this journey we, the common people should expect?

elernerfusion46 karma

Cheap, clean, unlimited energy should we expect! Focus fusion, if we develop it successfully, will provide energy 10 times cheaper than any existing source.

AnthAmbassador6 karma

How long will a reactor need to run before it can achieve economics like this? Obviously manufacture is the primary cost, running and fueling are pretty cheap. If you don't run it for a while, you won't even break even with conventional generation.

What's the break even time period, and what is the ten times cheaper time period?

Anyone know?

elernerfusion1 karma

We expect the generators to last at least ten years. But they will be cheaper from the get-go. We see them selling for $300,000 mass produced. To get that power today, you need to lay out $ 5 million.

We are not selling thes to conusmers--they are too big. A town could buy one hwoever.

If you are asking about how long mass -production will take--not sure you are--my guess is that maybe five years after production starts economies of scale will bring the price down to the level we project.

We intend to license manufacture to extremely big entities like national government utilities who can scale up production quickly.

dutchie196514 karma

You mentioned that the prototype phase would last about three years. Can this phase be shortened with additional funding?

elernerfusion17 karma

In theory yes. But in reality, I think it will tough to raise even $100 million quickly--that will be the bottleneck. So three years would be good.

dutchie19653 karma

Why do you think that? You should think investors and public money should be pouring in then. Has it something to do this being proprietary technology?

elernerfusion14 karma

I agree it should pour in. But even if it take six months to pull it together, that leaves 2 and a half years. It takes time to build the machines, hire the teams and so on. The best scenario of course would be to get additional money in before we get to net energy, so we can hit the ground running. Maybe this will happen once the beryllium experiment starts and we get a boost in fusion yield.

ResponsibleDurian13 karma

Recalling there was extensive optimization work to eliminate impurities (esp. eliminating tungsten oxides), but there's not been much novel data presented from subsequent firings. Do you expect to fire additional shots, and/or hope to surpass your own yield records w/ the improved Tungsten electrodes, before switching to Be? Also, when do you plan to start those experiments?

elernerfusion16 karma

We don't expect to get higher yields with tungsten. As we explained in our published reports, we did not get all the tungsten oxide off, so we did not reach the threshold for impurities needed to preserve the current filaments. That is what is needed for much higher yields. So it will have to wait for beryllium. Right now we expect to start the new experiments in July. It depends a bit on suppliers. We are doing various upgrade including a new vacuum chamber.

zyxzevn12 karma

Hi Eric, I have many questions regarding your google lecture on Nuclear Fusion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhKB-VxJWpg
Answer any that you like / got time for.

1) In the lecture you claim that sustained fusion is easier with your technology, as shown in laboratory results. What is the current status about reaching the goal of sustained fusion?

2) Can you explain why your method can use the chaos that is produced by the heat, and why other technologies can not?

3) In a recent video there are problems with the electric contacts that deliver the electric current. Why do you think beryllium solves this problem?

4) Why do you think you can start fusion based on electro-magnetism? And not with extreme pressure as most fusion devices do.

5) Can this fusion system be scaled down to a chip? It would be great to have a fusion device in my bike.

6) Do you know about the Safire project and are you working together? (For Safire see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeVdzSjPx0g)

I have more questions but I think I will give you some time for these first.

elernerfusion15 karma

To be fair to others, I will not answer all. Beryllium will solve the problem we have now because ti is a light element with only 4 electric charges, four protons, in its nucleus. Impurities create problems, mostly resistance, in a plasma in proportion to the square of the nuclear charge. So each Be atom is 16 but each tungsten atom is 74 squared or over 5,000 in its effects.

We don't at the moment think this can be scaled down even more--it is small as it is. If you reduce the current, you decrease the yield faster than the energy input. If you make it smaller without reducing the current, the magnetic forces become so great you can crush the electrodes. However, this depends on the present state of material science. Things could change in the future. But bikes? They are good for exercise only if human powered!

Magnetic fields, produced in the DPF by powerful currents within the plasma, do in fact produce huge pressures. We have already achieved pressures millions of times atmospheric.

Right now are current status is that we have achieved the temperature and confinement time needed for net fusion energy, but need to go way up in density. We expect this increase in density to happen in the next set of experiments.

dutchie196512 karma

As it stands now, the Wefunder campaign is successful but you probably will not achieve the 1 million. What does this mean? What is it you can do with the funds raised, and what are the things you have to let go off.

elernerfusion17 karma

We may still get close--the last few days are generally good. We will probably not hire another physicist, so that will slow us down a bit. But we still think we will have enough money to do the next experiment.

oseois6 karma

What is your take on the polywell reactor that Bussard was working on before he died?

elernerfusion15 karma

It is good that this group, now EMC2, is also aiming for pB11 fusion. But , like all devices that have low density, they need to confine the plasma for a very long time, getting absolute stability. A proton has to make hundreds of millions of trips past the device grids in order to undergo on fusion reaction. Our device, if we achieve the high density we aim for, will only have to confine the fuel nuclei for a few thousand orbits before they react.

Wardallen36 karma

I appreciate your efforts, but fusion always seems like it is decades away from commercial operation. So why not put more of our resources into better fission reactors?

elernerfusion21 karma

Our effort certainly will not take decades. We will know very soon, within 12-18 months, if we can reach net energy in the lab. If we get adequate funding, around $100 million, development to a commercial prototype should take about three years after that. Fission can't provide cheap energy nor could it fully replace fossil. Focus Fusion can do both.

CocoDaPuf2 karma

Having just watched your Google tech talk, I can't help but notice an increase in the required funding for the next stage (by an order of magnitude).

I may already have a guess why that is... So is a larger number, more on the scale of other fusion projects, actually more palatable for the kind of investors you need to attract? That seems crazy.

elernerfusion1 karma

In any project, engineering cost about 10 times as much as research. Not unique to us.

jaimmster6 karma

How did you get Fusion Focus name past the copyright guys at Ford?

elernerfusion9 karma

Well, they don't actually have a car named Focus Fusion. It comes up on Google because in an alphabetical list of their cars, there is the Focus and the Fusion, so : Focus, Fusion. Anyway, even Ford can't get a trademark on the words Focus and Fusion.

o1ekingcole5 karma

What would you say has been the biggest obstacle?

elernerfusion12 karma

Lack of money, clearly. That has meant a smaller staff than is ideal and it has sometimes meant delays in material we could have ordered in advance with more money.

Waking5 karma

How do you compare to other fusion startups like tri-alpha?

elernerfusion1 karma

We are getting fusion results--they are not yet. We have the best results of any private fusion effort--published in peer-reviewed journals. We also think we have the easiest path to fusion.

DanHeidel5 karma

There's been a lot of buzz about the SP/ARC reactor designs being enabled by improvements in high temp superconductor magnet technology. Is there any benefit to focus fusion designs with larger external magnetic fields to help boost the plasmoid field?

elernerfusion11 karma

It is a whole different magnitude of field. The biggest fields produced by external magnets are below 100,000 g, or 10 T. The fields in our current plasmoids are over 4,000 T and we expect to increase them to 500,000 T.

dutchie19654 karma

Besides the Wefunder campaign we have not heard much about other investments the last couple of months. How is the funding with the normal investments going?

elernerfusion13 karma

Slower than we would like. Not sure exactly why. People who don't invest rarely tell us why.

vlovich4 karma

Having done some occasional angel investing, since you asked, here are my reasons:

  1. No clear path for what happens if your technology R&D doesn't pan out & you're still another 3 years away from figuring that out. What is your alternative exit strategy that doesn't lose your investors money if your R&D doesn't pan out or you run out of runway?
  2. You said you have 3 years until you figure out if it works but $1M seems like a pittance to actually help execute that. You've burned through 5 of the 6 million you've raised so far & you admit your burn rate is probably going to only increase as you hire more people/have more capex, so I'm struggling to see how $2M is going to see you through.
  3. Age risk. As the chief scientist & CEO you are setting the vision & strategy for your company. At your age (70) you have an even greater medical incapacitation risk. Is your team actually capable of continuing this research & executing on your vision without you & how will they do so?
  4. Have you approached institutional investors that specialize in Series B? The apparent lack of institutional investors is a negative signal that one or some mixture of these is true: A) you're looking for uninformed investors who are effectively doing low-stakes betting on you taking off massively (i.e. FOMO) B) you're not willing to put in the difficult, time-consuming work (that most CEOs hate since it's viewed as a time-waste) of raising from institutional investors C) you're unhappy with the terms you'd get from institutional investors (e.g you'd have to give up board control). However, institutional investors would help a lot with larger follow-up rounds when you inevitably need it (as you see you're already reaching your limit with small investment amounts). In my experience most successful entrepreneurs, especially after the seed round, care more about the quality & value-add of the investor beyond just the cash whereas it seems like you're being much more indiscriminate. Since you still have a massive & ever increasing burn rate, your apparent lack of institutional investment & existing crowdfunding struggle means your difficulty to attain it in future rounds is only higher (i.e. it seems like your perfectly set up to have a down round next time, at best).
  5. Your company was founded in 1976 & is located in NJ. How is your company structured (C-corp? S-corp?)? Is it still in NJ and if yes, why haven't you moved it to Delaware? Since your company has been around since 1976, how many investors do you have total at this point? AFAIK SEC regulations haven't changed regarding 500 investors so crowdfunding seems like the perfect approach to get you real close if not over the 500 limit & force you to become a public company.

Probably the single largest concern is #4. It doesn't seem like you're set up to successfully raise large amounts of cash from experts who can guide you through growing your company & help with future rounds. The company is set up to burn through increasingly large amounts of money since you need more headcount & capex to do a lot of ancillary R&D work beyond just your basic fusion research (e.g. heat dissipation). Crowdfunding is limited to $1m/year & to me this poses significant risks for down rounds if you hit any schedule problems since you're not buffering your cash reserves and you have no path to revenue for the next 3 years.

Of course, all of this is just 1 amateur's opinion & I wish you all the best of luck.

EDIT: Some other reasons I forgot to put down although it's more a due diligence/curiosity thing than anything that would stop me:

  1. How do you plan on handling the regulatory risks that might prevent you from placing massive bombs in the middle of huge population clusters?
  2. Why are you planning on charging such a small percentage of sales? You have the ability to provide power at a fraction of the cost that anyone possibly hit so why not charge way more & bring it down over time as you recoup your R&D costs?
  3. You say that wind & coal are at ~8 & ~10 cents/kwh. However, Wikipedia says power purchase agreements are available at 2 & 3 cents/kwh respectively. Is your math off/outdated or are these power generation companies actually losing massive amounts of money?
  4. You've proved out the x-scan technology in 2011 but still apparently haven't found a buyer. What's stopped you & why will other technology you develop along the way to your final goal not suffer the same fate?

elernerfusion1 karma

First, one to two million will get us through , we think, to net energy. That will draw in a lot more money, including government funding. I am really good for another year! We are not givng up control for two reasons. First we don't want some future owner to sell out to big oil. Second, we don't want someone to pull the plug because they get impatient. Some really big companies seem to have managed without the founders giving up control. Ever heard of Facebook and Google? Our company was not founded in 1976--don't believe everything you read on the web. Our first funding on a very small scale was in 1994. We incorporated in 2003. Our first substantial funding was 2008. Our facility was built in 2009. It is a C-corp. We will not go over the 500 non-accredited investor limit. As other have pointed out there is no connection between fusion generators and hydrogen bombs--only in Batman films. We are charging a small percent of sales to get the technology adopted as rapidly as possible. People wise enough to invest as early as now will certainly get a hefty ROI without trying to charge too much for the technology. We are actually trying to do some good in the world rather than maximally rip off other people. The big difference in math with solar and wind is the difference between using the power when it happens to be available and using it as baseload to replace all fossil. The prices quoted elsewhere are for when it happens to be on. The main problem with x-scan is that we don't have the staff to pursue a good partner. It needs more money.

vlovich1 karma

I’m confused about your point on control. Your examples of Facebook and Google in fact seem to contradict your position, at least as I understand it; both those companies (and many others) have taken on institutional investment while retaining voting control of the board. However I understand voting control isn’t everything - board members still have soft power since they can help you with future rounds. That still seems like a good trade-off; you can raise greater funds so you can staff up your xscan technology spinoff to demonstrate to future investors there’s profitable innovation along the way even if the fusion doesn’t pan out or it takes longer than expected. It’ll also mean that if unexpected things happen (as they always do) the company is on safer footing financially.

Re your desire to positively impact the world. I applaud it, I truly do. There’s a massive energy crisis that’s been building for over half a century that threatens our species. However, this is a for-profit venture and it’s a competitive world. Just because you get there first doesn’t mean people won’t catch up quickly and out-compete (bonus - they won’t have taken your risks and will be more than happy to accept institutional funding to ramp up). Patents are great but they only stave off competition for so long, if your competitors even care about it (hint - you’ll have enormous legal fees enforcing that they do care).

Regarding the bomb, thing I didn’t mean to imply that it was going to be a hydrogen bomb. I simply meant: a) is there any possibility for any kind of runaway reaction b) can you convince regulators to actually not get in the way of you executing your vision (cause there will be public uninformed concerns) c) is there any possibility for weaponizing the underlying science (if yes that could actually be a good thing - edit: not to get misconstrued - good thing in terms of ensuring the government has a vested interest in helping you enforce your patents)? D) is it possible to weaponize the actual device or use it to help weaponizing (if yes that’s not so good). Like I said that was more technical curiosity than anything material about why I may or may not invest. My investment concern is that aside from the risk of the science not planning out (which wouldn’t prevent it per se), I’m not getting a lot of confidence you’ll be able to execute on the business aspects of the company.

elernerfusion1 karma

We do have one institutional investor---Abell Foundation. To be clear, we want institutional investors, we just don't want to give up control. So far we have not found a second one. Everyone seems to want control. As for competing with others, it seems to us that keeping prices low is a really good way to protect market share. The other thing we will have is a technological lead. We have never told investors we expect a monopoly. If we keep even a quarter share of the global energy market, we will be fine. There is no possibility of a runaway because the total amount of fuel reacting is tiny. Our job is to convince the public that the technology is safe and that regulators should not get int the way of it, just monitor it the way they would any safe technology. You can weaponize it by pushing it out of an airplane and dropping it on someone--it weighs three tons. JUST kidding!Also, anything that can power a ship can power a warship. But the technology itself can not be a weapon. As to business, we have a Board of Advisors with a dozen experienced business people. Any business decision that does not impact the Independence of the company , they make it.

mriexplained3 karma

How can one become a part of your movement?

elernerfusion8 karma

There are several ways to help. Obviously investing is one way. In addition, the Focus Fusion Society is working , together with LPPFusion, to educate the public about the promise of this technology and the need for governments to fund it. So you can join this effort, help organize local meetings, let people know about us on the web and so on.

mriexplained2 karma

Absolutely!!! Working on it as we speak. 👍 will you ever do a live stream on youtube?

elernerfusion4 karma

We did FB live recently. Maybe we'll do another in a few days. Stay tuned.

ClearlyAThrowawai3 karma

If you do create a successful, energy positive reactor, how easily do you expect to be able to manufacture commercial reactors? I know that this is an engineering problem to come after you have a proven viable design, but just as a guess, what level of difficulty would manufacture be? (Essentially, how easily could manufacturing be scaled)

elernerfusion5 karma

Manufacturing will be easy. The key challenge in getting from a lab device to a generator is cooling it. It is very small and it is tough to get the waste heat out of the tip of the anode, where much of it will be generated. When that is solved, a generator will basically roll down and assembly line like a car, only a bit bigger.

808borg3 karma

Is the ion beam decelerator a mature technology and if not are there any ongoing efforts to develop this critical piece of the fusion generator system?

elernerfusion7 karma

It is pretty mature--people have been using accelerators for decades and it makes sense to recover the energy. Efficiency of over 80% have been demonstrated.

benf23 karma

In 2013 you initiated a letter writing campaign to the US Senate committee on Energy posing these questions: 1. Is the current 30-year-old concentration of the US fusion energy program on the tokamak device and on deuterium-tritium fuels too narrow to lead to economical fusion energy? 2.Should the US fusion energy program be redirected, by legislation if necessary, to fund a broader range of fusion devices, in particular those capable of using aneutronic fuels, which if successful could lead to fusion energy that is cheaper than any existing energy sources? Do you think we should continue writing letters to the committee members in support of fusion and alternative fusion concepts?

elernerfusion7 karma

Absolutely! There has been an exciting new development, since in the last several months the fusion companies have jointed together in new organizations to lobby Congress to broaden the fusion effort. More popular support is crucial to getting Congress to change.

benf23 karma

I’ve recently read an article (Phys.org) on the new satellite images of lightning from thunderstorms, which are generating sprites and even sometimes fusion reactions out into space. Is the research revealing any useful new information about magnetic fields or particle beam formation?

elernerfusion1 karma

It's the same process. Not directly useful so far, but studies at all scales feed basic understanding.

flyingalbatross13 karma

Why is this a better strategy for generating fusion than a TOKAMAK like ITER?

elernerfusion2 karma

We are getting results in terms of energy out/energy in that are only a third below the best that tokamak have achieved, but we have spend thousands of times less money. Tokamaks, even if they work in the end, will be far more expensive than fossil. Our device, if it works, will be far cheaper than fossil. ITER won't be working until 2035 at best. We expect to complete our research phases in 12-18 months and move on to engineering.

W1nd3 karma

why should I invest in your idea vs. Wendelstein 7x?

elernerfusion1 karma

W7X can't lead to cheap energy, while our idea can. W7x is also very expensive right now, so will take many years to develop. Our can be developed in four to five years with adequate funding.

Talmnbe3d3 karma

What is the impact on the environment?

elernerfusion3 karma

I would be cleaner than any source of energy today. The waste product is useful helium, no radioactive waste, no greenhouse gases and the generators are so compact that very little mining will be needed for their materials. Not only that, but with extremely cheap electricity, the existing plasma torch technology can clean up all garbage ad reduce it to its elements, which can be recycled. Of course, with fossil fuels obsolete, all that pollution will disappear.

casprus3 karma

What regulatory hurdles does the project face?

elernerfusion1 karma

Fusion needs new regulations. It should not be covered by fission regulations.

casprus1 karma

What kind of "regulations"? Wouldn't that hamper the development of fusion technology? I can't imagine fusion being as dangerous and thus requiring as much regulation as fission, since 1) there's a much smaller quantity of total material 2) even if the controlling systems do break down, the material itself is not particularly dangerous (hydrogen, helium) and would cool down and dissipate quickly. The only thing I could see dangerous from the fusion itself might be neutron radiation, no? I'm not a nuclear physicist though.

elernerfusion2 karma

Right, we need much less stringent regulations that will allow such generators to be placed near to populations.

Treczoks3 karma

  • Size of such a device? I.e. is this something for everyones basement, or more a power plant thing?
  • Power output in W?
  • Is the power output variable (e.g. for an independent facility) or fixed so it would need a grid or battery for buffering?
  • How long will startup and shutdown phases be? I.e. are we talking about seconds up to maybe a minute, or is this an operation that takes hours and is only done for inspections/fuel change?
  • Thermal dissipation, or: relation between electrical and thermal output power? Would it be possible to use waste heat for generating warm water or house heating?
  • Costs? Both for the purchase and the operation (i.e. "fuel"), please.

elernerfusion2 karma

The device is a few meters in each direction. The generator will produce about 5 MW, enough for a small town or large urban neighborhood. It would have a fixed output, but since the units are so small, you just turn them on or off to balance the load. It will turn on and off instantly, but will need about nine or ten hours to cool down for maintenance. We expect about 40% total thermal efficiency. Co-generation is always possible in urban areas. We estimate units will cost about $300,000 or 6 cents per watt. Operation will be about 0.3 cents per kwH, mostly maintenance labor, very little for fuel.

khyar823 karma

After the impurity issues with tungsten, do you think there could be unforseen issues with beryllium? If so, is there a superior option to elemental beryllium? If not, is it possible to design a new material alloy with the ideal properties? If not, would a redesign of the electrode geometry allow an existing material to perform adequately? Would the discovery of room temperature superconductors (with sufficiently high mechanical strength) allow for further miniaturisation of the reactor? Just imagine a 100kW reactor that fits in a car trunk. Batteries would be unnecessary, a few hundred grams of pB11 to last a lifetime of driving!

elernerfusion0 karma

We don't think there will be, but of course, it is hard to foresee the unforseen!

DonutMoonBuggy2 karma

Having followed your work for several years, I’ve been struck by the extremely compact size of your reactor design. Beyond stationary grid-connected power generation, are there perhaps other completely novel applications for the reactor to which investors and the general public remain oblivious?

elernerfusion7 karma

It certainly is small enough for a ship. In addition, it can power a space-craft. We were initially funded by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab for space propulsion. In theory, this could make it to Mars in two weeks. However in 2001 NASA terminated all fusion funding. So that's when we started raising investment funds. We still hope NASA will fund this for space propulsion in the future.

deckard583 karma

In theory, this could make it to Mars in two weeks.

Powering what sort of drive?

And are you counting the mass of the radiators in the power conversion system when you calculate that time?

CocoDaPuf3 karma

And are you counting the mass of the radiators in the power conversion system when you calculate that time?

He probably is. Based on what I do know about this design, I can at least make a conjecture.

This form of fusion reactor generates energy in a rather interesting way. It actually doesn't do what most electric generators do, boiling water into steam to run a turbine. This skips that whole process by recycling over 80% of the power used back into capacitors, and generating additional energy using the photoelectric effect. The key there is that it's generating electricity directly, without a turbine.

by skipping the whole steam turbine thing, you're producing a lot less heat. It's possible that the biggest source of heat generation in the whole system will be from resistance in the constantly cycling capacitors (and admittedly I have no idea how much heat that will be, could be huge).

But I am also curious about how this would work on a spacecraft. I'm wondering if this is just a power source for an ion drive, (which is significant) or if it's something different entirely...

elernerfusion1 karma

It powers an ion drive. Yest radiating the heat is a significant problem in space, but there are clever ways to do it with little mass.

ResponsibleDurian2 karma

If DPF works as hoped, how confident are you in the technologies for direct conversion of energy output (ion beam & x-rays) to electricity? Are there extant proofs-of-principle for these methods, and do they demonstrate the efficiency of conversion you'd need to both re-power subsequent shots of DPF & generate surplus?

elernerfusion3 karma

As I just wrote, the ion beam technology is mature, so we are not worried about that. Efficiency is beyond 80%. The x-ray device is our invention. We are confident about that too, but it has never been built. So far, its efficiency is based on calculation. But the process of photoelectric conversion is well-understood.

demosthenes021 karma

Is there anywhere to get an understanding of their process? And how are they making 4000T magnetic fields?

elernerfusion1 karma

We have a great set of videos at wefunder.com/lppfusion. Scroll down and you get how it works.

demosthenes021 karma

Thanks. Those are great. What’s causing the pinch effect though? Why can’t the electrons just flow straight through the plasma?

elernerfusion1 karma

The moving electrons, like any current, create a magnetic field. The magnetic field in turn applies a force on any moving currents. So two currents moving in the same direction create magnetic fields that pull the currents together. We call that the pinch effect. Faraday discovered this two centuries ago, although the name came much later.

tdaniel_s1 karma

From my understanding fusion is combining two small atoms to a bigger one

i also heared it needs about 100 000 000 °C for the reaction to start So if a Fusion reactor would fail, wouldnt it basicly burn down EVERYTHING near it?

elernerfusion1 karma

Fusion is a jargon term meaning nuclear reactions between two charged nuclei, not matter what the final product is. Our temperatures of billions of degrees are achieved in a an extremely tiny volume. The amount of energy is very small, so it is safe, but it is extremely concentrated, giving the high temperature.

CocoDaPuf1 karma

You mentioned that your project was initially funded by NASA/JPL as a potential space propulsion system.

In what way would focus fusion be used in space propulsion? Was the thought just that this would be a lightweight power source for a high energy ion drive, or is the fusion reaction somehow used as propulsion?

As I ask that, I'm wondering about the feasibility of using that jet of ions as direct propulsion, perhaps intentionally recovering less of the energy in that beam.

elernerfusion1 karma

Right , that is what we intend.

Jakob48001 karma

what is the main difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission?

elernerfusion1 karma

Fission need a neutron to start the reaction and produces lots of neutrons and radioactive waste. Fusion needs no neutrons to start the reaction--two charged nuclei reactor. With aneutronic fusion, like we are using, neutrons are also not produced by the main reaction, so no radioactive waste.

kimjongswoonofficial1 karma

Doesn't Ford already have a Focus Fusion?

elernerfusion1 karma

no, and they just discontinued both the Focus and the Fusion

DrunkenScotsmann1 karma

I know I'm probably WAAYYY to late, but if you get back to this...

Why do expect fusion to be economically viable than something like a LFTR fission reactor?

elernerfusion1 karma

All fission produces energy as heat. It is very expensive to turn heat into electricity through a steam turbine. Since we produce energy that can be directly converted to electricity, this is potentially a factor of ten cheaper than any existing energy source.Our device is also much simple than a fission reactor.

koy51 karma

Can you please hurry up? Seriously. This is such a game changer it would mitigate so much of the worlds problems caused by a lot of factors. Have a drought? Build a fusion plant to run desalination plants. Have a famine? Construct hydroponic grow houses in the ocean using the desalinated water you made. Need some helium? So on and so forth. I wish there was some way I could help move this project forward.

elernerfusion1 karma

Still time to visit wefunder.