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  1. These jerks made the PDF as difficult as possible to process, starting with saving it as a series of page images rather than text which can be searched and copied.  That’s just one of the ways it emits the aroma of snake oil.  Page 5:

    Each conical structure 200, opposing each other in pairs, may have smoothly curved apex sections 201, and/or include assemblies of electrified grids 202 and toroidal magnetic coils 203.

    Toroid coils confine their magnetic fields inside the minor radius.  They have next to no magnetic field outside the minor radius.  I could see a solenoid coil but toroids would simply be useless for influencing a plasma outside the toroid coil itself, and that includes the space between these so-called “fusors”.  This looks like fusion word salad.

    In order to heat the plasma core 75 at the extreme temperatures that fusion requires, the electrically charged dynamic fusors 200, 230 generate high electromagnetic radiation by virtue of their accelerating spin.

    Word salad.  The mass of plasma is negligible compared to the mass of tungsten-based electrodes.  The one thing I could see as a possibility is the use of mechanical twisting of a magnetic field around a diamagnetic plasma to induce currents and consequent heating, but that would require solenoid coils rather than toroidal coils.

    In order to hold an electric charge of at least one Coulomb

    One coulomb is an enormous amount of electric charge.  Supercapacitors store multiple coulombs by way of equally enormous amounts of surface area of their virtual “plates”, which are made of things like activated carbon.  In a small device with discrete plates and capacitance measured in picofarads, storing a coulomb would require voltages in the billions of volts.  That’s in excess of the breakdown voltage of any available material and would immediately arc over.  There are equally enormous energies involved.  One coulomb in a gigavolt capacitor stores 5e8 joules, about 139 kWh.  Forget fusion, if you can handle that you’ve got a killer battery.  IOW, ain’t gonna happen.

    My impression is that this is going to be revealed shortly as Sokal Hoax III, an epic troll of both tne Green energy believers and the USPTO.  I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that this “inventor” doesn’t even exist.

    1. @E-P

      As far as I can tell, the “jerks” who posted the patent in the single page PDF format work for the USPTO. It’s their web site.

      If you go to the linked “patent” in the first paragraph of this post, you will find a more easily downloaded PDF of the issued patent.

      Thanks for the commentary. I tend to agree.

      1. “As far as I can tell, the “jerks” who posted the patent in the single page PDF format work for the USPTO”

        The USPTO accepts and publishes the PDF they were given. They didn’t format this PDF.

        If you open the PDF up, it was made with Acrobat. Acrobat doesn’t render images to text. These images are synthetic, not scanned.

        Someone went out of their way to make this un-selectable.

  2. Thanks E-P for going into the patent itself. I absolutely agree with your “word salad” diagnosis. My impression is that this is a “Popular Science” style idea for a fusion reactor, and that the author has managed to bamboozle someone in the USN into letting him go ahead with the patent.

    What I noticed in the report I saw was that the patent office doesn’t require that the device being patented exists and actually does something. Even if it may not be perfect. The main thing this patent could be useful for is patent trolling of real reactors.

    Thanks Rod for noticing this story. Might this patent be a normal SNAFU?

  3. Great comments by E-P.
    I would just add a comment on the following quotes from the USN patent:

    “A 10-15 cm thick boron carbide (or Tungsten alloy) shielding which acts as the Faraday cage can also incorporate the cooling channels for the thermal conversion cycle”
    “The present invention can produce power in the gigawatt to terawatt range (and higher) with input power in the kilowatt to megawatt range”
    “experiments have taken disc shaped objects of 10 cm diameter and spun them at 10,000 rad/sec (100,000 RPM)”

    These quotes suggest an overall size on the order of “10-15 cm”.

    A gigawatt (1,000 megawatts) or terawatt (1,000 power plants, each of 1,000 megawatts) is a lot of thermal power.
    By comparison, 1,000 MWe NPPs typically have good size primary heat transfer piping combined with large reactor core fuel rod heat transfer area.
    Both of these are much larger than the “10-15 cm” size of this supposed fusion reactor.
    The USN author seems to be clueless about the magnitude of heat transfer required for power generation.

    1. I don’t think those quotes suggest anything of the kind. You might have inferred a 10 – 15 cm overall dimension, but that isn’t necessarily how another might read it.

    2. The USN author seems to be clueless about the magnitude of heat transfer required for power generation.

      One of the deuterium fusion reaction pathways produces He-3 and a neutron.  I have not been able to find out how common this is, but even 10% in a 1 GW(t) deuterium fusion reactor means about 75 MW of neutron power.  This would activate everything in sight and likely melt it too.

      Another pathway makes tritium and protium.  The tritium is then free to fuse with deuterium, leaving 80% of the reaction energy in the form of a 14.7 MeV neutron.  Even more activate-y, even more melty.

      This is just one more indication that the patent is a joke.  I’m assuming it’s a deliberate joke, destined to go down in history as one of the epic trolls of the fuzzy-thinking side of our Two Cultures.

      1. Looks like it is a tritium-suppressed system, meaning tritium is continuously removed from the plasma. In that case neutrons carry about 6 percent of the energy – compared to 3 percent in a fission plant.

    3. “experiments have taken disc shaped objects of 10 cm diameter and spun them at 10,000 rad/sec (100,000 RPM)”

      Note that one revolution is 2*pi radians (6.28 radians) of angular movement. So 10,000 rad/sec is:

      10,000/(2*pi) = 1592 RPM. Not anywhere near 100,000 RPM. Not getting a simple units conversion right causes my skeptical light to start blinking.

      I have been following fusion energy ever since I was in grade school 55 years ago. Practical fusion energy has been 10 years away all that time.

      1. Not to quibble but I think you need to multiply the (10,000 rad/sec / 2 pi) by 60 seconds per minute to get 95,541 RPM which is approx. 100,000 RPM. I do suspect you are right though – I’m not counting on fusion to get us out of the global warming mess.

  4. This is a farce, a joke. As Engineer-Poet points out, there is a high energy neutron produced. Destroys everything.

  5. I’m just a layperson, but if the navy are looking for more compact reactors to power smaller, cheaper ships than carriers and submarines, why not look at molten salt reactors? Particularly the recent innovation by Moltex Energy of putting the fuel salt in vented fuel tubes?

    I honestly think molten salt reactors will be developed in the US the day it turns out that China is developing them for its navy.

    1. @jimofoz:

      Hard to say for marine propulsion. As far as USN is concerned, it’s really hard to beat the HEU (high-enriched uranium) pressurized water reactors they use today, both for size/power density and for fuel life. They’re a known quantity and work really, really well.

      Beyond that however, one notes with interest that US DOE is sponsoring Moltex to the tune of 2.55 million USD, so there is some interest.

    2. “Yeah, and if the oceans were made of sodium, some damn-fool scientist would be pushing for a water-cooled reactor for submarines.” H.Rickover

      MSR use in subs is negated under the same logic. Seems the generation of HF when fuelsalt contacts seawater would be sub-optimal in the confined space of sub.

      But hey, if you start a rumor, maybe issue a patent for a 5 liter MSR submarine reactor under the name Xian Chen, then maybe the DOD will look into it.

    3. jimofoz,

      We use water cooled reactors on submarines because the boat is normally surrounded by seawater. (when the boat is in drydock, the reactor has to be shut down.)

      Sodium is a bad idea because it has an explosive reaction to water.

      It might be a good idea on land, however.
      The reactor vessel itself is actually pretty small already. But I can’t say much else because I was specifically ordered not to describe the location of machines in the engine room in relation to other machines, not for 70 years after I got out, anyway (when I got out I had to sign an NDA which included that).

      Nuclear power is a great source of energy because it gives you a lot of energy, 24/7, in a small land area, without generating pollution.

      My source is that I’m a submarine veteran, USS Florida SSBN-728 and USS Asheville SSN-728. served 1999 to 2003. rank/rate was STS3(SS), but Qualified is Qualified. In fact the XO of Florida warned me that I had the most radiation exposure of anyone who works in the forward compartment and I should be careful about being back there too much. 🙂 It’s still well within safe limits though. time, distance, shielding. 🙂

      The owner of the web site, who is a nuclear submarine officer, certainly knows how intelligent and well-trained enlisted submariners are. 🙂 Hopefully he won’t hold it against me that I failed the nuke test by 5 points. I wanted to be a radio or sonar guy anyway but I blame having had to take the test at 0400….I did get 80 on the ASVAB and was invited by Johns Hopkins to skip high school when I was 12…it was humbling to meet a lot of enlisted personnel who got 99 (the highest possible score) on the ASVAB. :-O

  6. This is not an issued patent, this is a pre-grant publication. The United States Patent and Trademark Office publishes every submission they get after 18 months (with a few exceptions) regardless of whether it’s operable or not. I could file for a perpetual motion machine and they would publish it after 18 months.

      1. Rod, the patent document will have a “Granted” date. Currently it is just published. Typically patent applications are published 1 year after ‘filing’ date. And granted several years later, if ever.

  7. Interesting comment from The Drive, emphasis added:

    This latest design is the brainchild of the elusive Salvatore Cezar Pais, the inventor of the Navy’s bizarre and controversial room temperature superconductors, high energy electromagnetic field generators, and sci-fi-sounding propulsion technologies that The War Zone has previously reported on.

    “Elusive,” huh?  $100 says that this guy doesn’t exist and that this is all a troll/psyop.

      1. Perhaps, but the Chinese are not exactly stupid.  They’ve seen through the nonsense about as fast as we did.  Taking it apart takes literally freshman physics (2nd semester, E&M).

    1. The name translates as Savior Caesar Country, i.e., the absolute ruler who saves the country.

      I cry fake!

  8. Fusion researcher here. It’s word salad.

    In particular, a “fusor” is a concentric-electrode electrostatic device. It has no moving parts, and certainly not any spinning electrodes. It’s also widely known to produce far less power than it consumes. Q=10^-6 is about what you would get with state of the art equipment. Not to say that this one would even do that much – I doubt you’d get anything out of it.

    There are serious attempts being made to use rotating electric or magnetic fields in fusion devices. This isn’t one of them. Mechanically spinning an electrode won’t get you anywhere close to what you need, by orders of magnitude.

  9. Could this be a trolling attempt stemming from a rivalry between Navy scientists and the guys working on the ‘compact fusion’ design at the Skunk Works. Just a guess 🙂

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