Reply to post: Re: Physics 101

Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized fusion reactor breakthrough boast

Peter Fairbrother 1

Re: Physics 101

Just to put some rough numbers on it, the main cylindrical part of the device seems to be about 2 meters in diameter and 5 meters long; which would fit into a shipping container with a bit of space for other systems. That's a surface area of about 35 square meters, and a heat flux density of about 2.8 MW per square meter.

Sunlight is about 1 kw/m^2 at the equator at noon, so that's 2,800 times more power per unit area than sunlight. It is equivalent to a black body radiative temperature of about 2,400C, or 4,300F, about as hot as the filament in an old-fashioned light bulb.

But the reactor casing doesn't need to be that hot, indeed it can be quite cool.

The highest steady-state fluid-cooling heat flux density I know of in engineering occurs in regeneratively cooled rocket engines, which typically cool at about 10-20 MW/m^2, though there are examples going up to about 160 MW/m^2 - many times more than needed here.

So removing 100MW of heat from the device is not that great a problem, and certainly not an insoluble one.

What you then do with that heat, well that's not going to fit into a shipping container ... but just the reactor might, indeed would, if it works as advertised.

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