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Plasma Generator Idea

  1. Jan 4, 2009 #1
    I had a idea a while ago about a possible energy generator. I was wondering if you set up a plasma arc, then circulated gases through the arc so they would be ionized. Then, the ionized gases were moved through to a wire net through means of a strong fan or magnetic fields. Would it be possible to generate some power this way? Also, if you stored the power you collected, could you have more power than it took to continue the arc and blower? The situation I am thinking of would involve the arc being generated by a 12-volt car battery, so the power would end up being DC in that case, and the wire net would be connected to two wires of different materials, so that a circuit could be created. Is this possible? Feedback and ideas are welcome.
     
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  3. Jan 4, 2009 #2
    In your idea as you have it described there is no means of generating energy. Yes you can create an arc and ionize gas in the arc. Yes you move an ionized gas with magnets. But the question is why?

    All you are doing is converting energy into different forms and taking losses at each step of the conversion.

    So, short answer: NO you cannot generate power that way.
     
  4. Jan 4, 2009 #3

    russ_watters

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    chayced answered adequately, but just for my own edification, could you tell me where you heard this idea? Or did you come up with it yourself? I had never heard anyone suggest this before last month when someone posted the exact.same.question: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=277955&highlight=plasma+generator

    Could be a coincidence, but I'd just like to know.
     
  5. Jan 4, 2009 #4
    I had the idea 2 years ago and it's been bugging me ever since. I considered using it for my science fair project. BTW, is there any way to tweak this into a possible idea? If not, it was worth asking.
     
  6. Jan 4, 2009 #5

    russ_watters

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    No, I really don't see anything in there that can be pursued.
     
  7. Jan 5, 2009 #6

    Danger

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    This sort of sounds like a garage-built version of a magnetohydrodynamic generator. As presented, though, it isn't workable. Most assuredly, it couldn't be self-sustaining.
     
  8. Jan 5, 2009 #7
  9. Jan 5, 2009 #8

    chemisttree

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    You might be able to use the UV given off by the plasma as a light source. If you make the chamber out of glass and coat the inside of the chamber with a phosphor it might make a neat light.
     
  10. Jan 5, 2009 #9
    The plasma converter was what gave me the idea in the first place. The dense plasma focus however, may be what i'm looking for. Thanks.
     
  11. Jan 5, 2009 #10
    The plasma focus gets its power from hydrogen boron fusion, and it doesn't even produce any net power yet and may never depending on the ability to create a dense enough plasma for fusion. Still have the end problem: where does the energy come from?
     
  12. Jan 6, 2009 #11
    Well, the plasma focus creates a plasma that's dense and emits all sorts of radiation; this could be compared to a star. Therfore, the energy could come from a tank of hydrogen, helium, or some other gas to fuel the "star", which would have to. If we work on that concept while working with Chemistree's idea, we could collect the light radiation it emits and us that as the end power source. This might work, though I thing there will be a slight net loss, so, I guess that the idea in the end of a plasma generator like the one I described or the "star" I have also described are impossible, seeing as there will be some energy loss. However, I think it is worth some research into so I will continue to study the matter, if not for a alternative power source, then for what it might offer in exchange for the energy it consumes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  13. Jan 6, 2009 #12

    Danger

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    To mimic a star, on a ridiculously small scale, you would have to have a hydrogen-to-helium fusion reaction. That's at the bottom end, since stars fuse other elements as well. Several huge, nationally-funded facilities are attempting to figure out how to do that. So far, as best I know, that involves either magnetic or inertial confinement of the fuel pellets. The odds are slim that you could pull it off in your basement.
     
  14. Jan 7, 2009 #13
    Well, these people have made those systems in their basements, so it is possible for me to as well.
     
  15. Jan 7, 2009 #14
    Sure you can build a fusor in your basement. It's an expensive hobby, so expect to be spending thousand/tens of thousands to get a working setup.

    It still won't generate any power. Really they don't. The fusor guys just build them because it's a hobby.

    If you want to spend time and money building something like this for a hobby then by all means, but don't expect it to be anything other than a money pit to keep you amused. If you want to build something for power generation with a hope of getting your money back then build some sort of solar or wind project. You may not get your money back with solar or wind, but at least you can actually generate net power.
     
  16. Jan 9, 2009 #15
    Yeah... The thing I was wondering was if you could create a plasma, thaen conduct it into electricity with a net watt gain. Is this possible? That's what I would really like to know.
     
  17. Jan 9, 2009 #16
    Nope, sorry.
     
  18. Jan 10, 2009 #17
  19. Jan 11, 2009 #18

    Danger

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    :rofl:

    Don't sweat it, pal. Probably 95% of all inventive ideas end in that statement.
     
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