The merger ends with the successful test of a new type of magnet

The merger ends with the successful test of a new type of magnet

The CFS and MIT teams working on the magnet.

credit: Gretchen Ertl, CFS / MIT-PSFC, 2021

Dennis White, director and co-founder of MIT’s PSFC, said he did it while consuming just 30 watts of power – several orders of magnitude less than the conventional copper conductive magnet MIT had. previously tested, which used 200 million watts. was done, said. CFS, in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

Nuclear fusion is the reaction that powers the Sun and the stars. This happens when two smaller, lighter nuclei merge to form a heavier nucleus, releasing energy.

If fusion could be made and marketed on Earth, it would provide an almost unlimited source of clean energy without generating the waste from nuclear fission, which can remain radioactive for thousands of years.

In a donut-shaped fusion machine called a tokamak, magnets capture and isolate the burning plasma for nuclear fusion reactions to occur.

The new magnet of CFS and MIT is so powerful that when the team build their donut-shaped fusion machine, called a tokamak, with these magnets, they will be able to obtain “pure energy”, which means that the fusion machine produces more energy than it takes to start and maintain the reaction, MIT’s PSFC said.

So far, no company has been able to acquire Net Energy Fusion. Until now, all the energy created by the fusion reactions is usurped to start and maintain the reaction.

“No one – no company, university, national lab or government – has achieved the goal of a balance merger to date,” said Andrew Holland, The chief executive of the Fusion Industry Association told CNBC.

Scientists and engineers at MIT’s CFS and PSFC have said that the successful demonstration of their new magnet technology is an important step in the technological development of their commercial fusion technology.

“This fusion of magnets will change the trajectory of science and energy, and the way we ultimately think about the global energy landscape,” White said.

The performance of these magnets gives Holland assurance that MIT’s CFS and PSFC will be able to meet their commercialization target. “It’s a big deal,” Holland told CNBC.

“It’s not hype, it’s reality. With the advancement of the fusion industry, we are witnessing the birth of a new source of clean, sustainable and always available energy, ”said Holland.

CFS and MIT team members lower a superconducting magnet here in a test bench.

credit: Gretchen Ertl, CFS / MIT-PSFC, 2021

To create a magnet capable of reaching 20 Tesla in their Sunday experiment, CFS and MIT used high-temperature superconductors.

“The scale and performance of this magnet is similar to that of a non-superconducting magnet used in the MIT experiment which concluded its experiments five years ago,” White said. But “the difference in terms of energy consumption is quite surprising”.

CSF is pre-income and has raised over $ 250 million from a handful of investors, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the leading sustainability investment fund that includes Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Ray Dalio as funders. goes.

The high-temperature superconducting magnet shown on Sunday will be used in its fusion test instrument, called SPARC, which is already under construction in Devens, Mass., And on track to demonstrate the net energy of fusion from by 2025, the teams said.

Its first fusion power plant, called ARC, is expected to be operational in the early 2030s.

CFS CEO Bob Mumgaard said, “Spark is not a commercial system in the sense that you can rely on it for 30 years to sit down and pump electricity to people, if it doesn’t work. “. Its light goes out. Speak to reporters on Wednesday.

The difference between SPARC and ARC (which aren’t technical abbreviations, so they don’t represent anything) is “reliability and durability,” Mumgard said. First you build a test plane, then the passenger plane, Mumgard said.

SPARC does “most of the things passenger planes do, but not all,” Mumgard said. “It’s doing it in a way that is resilient, that we can try, that we can break and fix…

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