Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) published a record breaking report in the peer-reviewed journal Physics of Plasmas on their confinement of plasma with energies equivalent to 1.8 billion degrees Centigrade and an adequate confinement time needed for net fusion energy production in their Focus Fusion-1 (FF-1) machine.  That’s two challenges succumbed to determination working creativity to results.

The third challenge is confine the plasma focus to the needed density.  Achieving that should provide an energy output over the energy needed to drive the process.  The issue now is engineering with the heat and time period in hand, so only designing the apparatus such that the heat is closely enough concentrated remains to fully prove a fusion energy source.

Focus Fusion Operating Artistic Image

Commercial machines look to be practical ideas.  LLC will be first to attempt a full run at pB-11 or Boron gas fuel to go straight to electrical production without a step out for heat gathering and producing pressure for turbine driven generation.

Achieving the necessary density, while sure to present unforeseen specifications looks like a highly probable event in the coming year or two.  Once achieved and confirmed, that would leave the Boron gas to electricity matter, something that won’t be possible until LPP or another hot fusion concept can run steadily.

That run steadily matter is already being addressed at LPP.  The lab technology today achieves well over 100 billion fusion reactions in a few microseconds.  The engineering to run for days and months on end is already attracting engineering assistance.  Some unconfirmed accounts have it that Raytheon is helping them redesign their current delivery switches.   While Raytheon surely has motives for other reasons, it is interesting that the company is in consultation with LPP.

That brings up the news. LPP is ready to offer another round of investment to those with the interest and ability to take risk for potentially huge rewards.  As a U.S. based firm LPP must conform to the securities laws thus the opportunity is limited to those with considerable wealth.

LPP is seeking a further $2 million from accredited or otherwise qualified investors in order to successfully conclude the research phase in 2012-2013 and support the transition from research to development.  Technical risk remains as LPP pursues the third and final criterion for success, yet confidence is high these risks are justified by the achievements thus far and the potential for the FF-1 technology.  It’s a shame the law prohibits a means for many of us to participate in a smaller way.

An investment would follow good company.  Led by the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab and more than forty private investors including foundation level participants in the earlier round, the management has had the opportunity to follow the theory of Dr. Lerner without pressures to get to economic thresholds ahead of the science.  The LPP opportunity is much more classic and transparent than much of what is out there today.

For one hand one could simply lose the investment, but for the other . . .

The Focus Fusion technology with Boron fuel would have a rapidly expanding worldwide role.  Nothing comes close to the projected installation and operating costs.  Even Low Energy Nuclear Reaction would have a higher installation and operating cost.  “Fusion Direct to Electric” as LPP is progressing has no comparison now or that is foreseeable.  It wouldn’t take the power generation industry long to realize a LPP Fusion Direct to Electric power source would solve the long transmission conundrum saving huge amounts of money and thrill low costs energy users and environmentalists.

The patent is already issued, #7,482,897 with the international patent work underway.

LPP is forecasting that after proving the density with an engineered working lab prototype and the Boron fuel matter is resolved they could within four years begin mass manufacture of 5MW electric Focus Fusion generators that would scale to meet any and all global energy demands at a projected cost 10% that of coal.

While some industry sectors would take a hit and have to adjust, the rest of the economy would have to adjust to rapidly falling energy costs with an end to the environmental barrier.

Well worth the risk, isn’t it?


5 Comments so far

  1. Matt Musson on August 10, 2012 5:47 PM

    This is my favorite fusion company. They started cheaply and set their sites on incremental improvements. And, they put everything out in the open, even their setbacks. And, to date they have done everything they said they would. Everything has scaled up so far.

  2. Sam Salamay on August 13, 2012 8:27 AM

    This is a spectacular opportunity to participate in eliminating fossil fuels sooner than later. Eric Lerner is a genius who deserves to be recognized and properly funded. Just look at the billions wasted on Tokamak and other fusion technologies still decades away. Eric’s distributed model is the stuff our country was founded on, passion, commitment and sacrifice. I am personally involved and hope we can attain truly clean, incredibly low-cost and radioactive-free power. The biblical implications for real world peace is right here in our laps. The scientific communities worldwide that work with us have this common goal; PeACE IN OUR LIFETIME.

  3. Derek Shannon on August 13, 2012 3:32 PM

    Feel free to post any question you have about the project here, or tweet them @LPPX!

  4. praos on August 14, 2012 4:52 AM

    The point lost to greens is that if you spare on energy, you squander on something else: capital investment, speed, footprint, labor etc. “Economising” energy often means simply substituting it with somewhat else. So cheap energy cuts not only utility bills, but many other costs too.

  5. The Lastest in Fusion | Earth's Energy on August 14, 2012 8:32 AM

    […] Energy and Fuel tells us Two Challenges Conquered One to Go.  Lawrenceville Plasma Physics published a report in the journal Physics of Plasmas on their […]

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