Nuclear fusion always seems like something out of the way for the future. It’s been talked about for decades, but always seems to be a source of energy “just a few steps ahead”. It is unfortunate that these steps are too long or turn out to be dead ends.
Now it appears that there is finally clarity about a new way to achieve fusion without the large and complex tokamaks, the plasma containment machines used so far for this purpose. general fusion It claims to have hacked the code to develop the world’s first commercially viable fusion power plant, with a pilot plant planned in the UK.
Here’s how it works.
General melting begins with covering the melting chamber with a liquid metal. The inner rotor rotates the chamber, pushing the metal toward the edges.
The second phase
Once the metal spins, more than 500 pistons outside the chamber begin to fire. Slight differences in the pressure and speed of the pistons force the liquid metal inward, compressing its shape from the cylinder to the ball.
The plasma injector located at the top of the chamber heats the gaseous hydrogen up to 5 million degrees Celsius. This is hot enough to cause a change in the gas state of the plasma. A powerful electromagnet is inside the injector and then a magnetic field is wrapped around this glowing plasma.
The injector pushes the plasma into the center of the liquid metal, which compresses it in a few tens of milliseconds and heats it to 100 million degrees Celsius. At this point the merger occurs. The magnetic field acts as a protective barrier between the plasma and the liquid metal, keeping the tank walls relatively cool.
The energy from the fusion is captured by the liquid metal, at this moment under pressure, which is then pumped through a heat exchanger, where it turns into steam.
Steam drives turbines that produce electricity.
The initial plant will be on display, but it’s under construction and that’s really exceptional in itself. If the theoretical system succeeds and shows how this solution works, it will be possible to move to the first commercial model. A long journey that takes years, assuming it succeeds. But every journey begins with the first step…
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