Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fusion power is our Future?

A prominent venture capitalist, Wal van Lierop, of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, has begun to invest in companies (such as General Fusion) who are providing patents and technologies for economical fusion power. In a recent interview at the Clean Tech Investor Summit (which we're very sad we're not attending), van Lierop said that he expects large energy companies to start thinking about building fusion plants within the next five years.

General Fusion hopes to create small fusion reactors that cost around $50 million a piece and generate roughly 100 megawatts allowing for roughly 4 cent / kwh electricity. That's about the same cost as coal.

The fusion system the use, called Magnetized Target Fusion which uses lithium as a fuel. The lithium is heated and mixed with intensely pressurized plasma. The lithium then breaks down into tritium (hydrogen with two neutrons), which is then mixed with deuterium (hydrogen with one extra neutron.) In the high energy environment, the tritium and the deuterium fuse to form helium, and create a whole lot of heat.

The heat captured is significantly greater than the energy used to run the device and the only byproduct is helium and other harmless gasses.

Full Article

1 comment:

M. Simon said...

Yep. Nothing like a steam powered fusion reactor to separate the sheep from the marks.