Energy – the Life Blood of Society
University of Hawaii
l Oil - Resource has reached its maximum production limit
- Some will be available for decades
- But had higher prices and lower abundance
l Gas - Resource not fully exploited but may be soon
- High initial production and quick decline
- Low energy density – not a good match to transportation
- Supplies not uniformly distributed thus creates a balance of payments problem
l Coal - Reserve said to be large – but is it?
- Thin, uneconomic units included in reserve figures
- Government and private reserve figures are very different
- Real question is
When do we meet the Maximum Production limit?
l Critical for
l Standard of living
l Food supply
l Travel and recreation
But what is the source of our future energy?
Future Energy Sources
l Not fossil fuels – all are finite resources and are at or near their maximum production limits
l Not wind and solar – neither are base load energy sources and both are very expensive if subsidies are removed
l Not Nuclear fission – it is inherrently unsafe, produces unwanted long half lived radioactive products and there is currently not solution for the waste storage problem.
l The future source is Fusion
Is Fusion Really Ready for Exploitation?
l Most types of fusion are in research stages
l Laser fusion
l Etc., etc.
l All of the above require decades of research
l But one version does not – this is accelerator driven Heavy Ion Fusion or HIF
l Research completed in the 1970's
l Endorsed by scientists for 35 year
l Recent review (2011) gives method a clean bill of health – i.e. it is ready to go
l So why do you not know about HIF
l It produces too much energy and was shelved in the late 1970's because there was no need for that much energy
l But times have changed – we now need a large new source of energy and that is HIF
The HIF Process
l Fusion require a very large, short duration pulse of energy to bring the Deuterium and Tritium ions together
l Known accelerator technology can supply ion with particle energies much greater than needed
l Techniques for increasing ion density are well known and can be used to supply sufficent beam brightness
l Perceived obstacle is cost of the accelerator
l Dollar cost is large but so is energy output
l Cost per unit of energy out is lower than any other base load energy source and power can be delivered at a cost of less than $0.03 per kWh. No other energy source is this low.
l Capital cost for a 100 GJ system is about $50B
l Output products are heat, hydrogen for synthetic fuels, and water – all compatible with our existing infrastructure
l Design and construction time is about a decade
l It is possible to build a working fusion plant today using know technology and proven techniques
l In 50 years time HIF will be the primary source of base load energy generation and it will be energy source for most of the liquid fuel that we consume
l And remember, Fusion energy is Clean & Green . . . and above all very, very SAFE.
In the Atlantic, Hurricane Katia, already at 100 MPH, will strengthen into a Category 3:
But all models still has her not making landfall:
Tropical Storm Talas rolled over Japan, causing some damage and casualties.