Wednesday, December 14, 2022

So now we have fusion?

We’ve had fusion for some years now. The problem is that up until now the energy needed to generate fusion was greater than the energy created. It is a big breakthrough but we have to keep it in perspective. The energy gain was about enough power to heat ten kettles of tea water. That’s not exactly something ready for commercial use. 

There’s a long running joke about fusion. Commercial fusion is 20 years away. Always has been. Always will be. 

My issue with commercial fusion isn’t about any dangers. Fusion should be fairly safe -should be. I guess my issue is with the way the grid should be configured. Fusion is a huge investment in a massive facility. It has the same drawbacks of any other massive power plant. All that energy has to be transmitted over long distances. If that one plant goes down a huge area would be in the dark. 

Personally, I think we’d be much more secure with a massively diversified power system. It’s already happening with solar and wind systems. The problem is that they are using new systems to tie into old grid architecture. We’d be much safer with the grid broken down into a huge number of micro grids. It would be a much more secure system. We’d also save a bundle on high energy distribution systems. 

Maybe fusion plants would make sense if built next to industrial processes that use huge amounts of electricity. Mining and refining come to mind. 

Guess we’ll see in 20 years or so.



  1. 6 Bears as an amateur history buff I notice when things get weird-bad miracle weapons or power sources appear.

    Mostly vaporware but a distraction when it's getting serious about cost of heating oil-diesel and such.

    The Look at Kim's butt stuff. Distractions.

    I'm looking forward to hearing your heating oil report. That's real data.

    1. So, who's Kim and what's her butt like? heh heh. Keep an eye on Fusion, could be interesting for a little bit. Oil prices are dropping a little, but will probably go back up again as soon as we give up those Patriots.

  2. Fusion is essentially taking two atoms.... normally two Hydrogen atoms....and jamming them together creating Helium. Not an easy thing to do as atoms have this inherent force keeping their nuclei separate. It take massive energy and pressure to overcome that force. The kind of energy and pressure that normally only exists in VERY large a sun. Which is why you only see sustainable fusion inside a sun. I suspect that without the immense gravitational force inside a sun sustainable fusion is impossible. To achieve it as a reliable power source will probably require us to master and control gravity. Something we have NO idea how to do.