The journal Nature discusses the rise of several fusion power schemes that increasingly appear to be viable low cost alternatives to the dominant Tokamak/ITER approach:
One of those alternatives mentioned is Helion Energy, a spinoff of research at the University of Washington:
- Executive Summary – Helion Energy (pdf)
- Helion Energy plans to Enable Profitable Fusion Energy in 2019 – Next Big Future
Helion Energy is uniquely qualified to succeed in bringing the Fusion Engine to market:
- Helion’s technology is the only proven, practical, reactor assembly in existence with greater fusion output than any private competitor.
- The Fusion Engine was designed from the ground up to be a competitive commercial device, yet is based on demonstrated physics, technologies and Helion’s patented scientific breakthrough.
- The world renowned scientific and technical team has a deep knowledge of the science, and unique experience in the technologies and the scales required for a commercial reactor.
- The science of the Fusion Engine has been rigorously demonstrated and peer reviewed.
- Helion has radically reduced risk by validating the technology with over $5 M in DOE funding.
- The Fusion Engine is compact (semi-truck sized) will be able to generate lower cost electricity than current baseload power sources.
- The management team won the 2013 National Cleantech Open Energy Generation competition and awards at the 2014 ARPA-E Future Energy Startup competition.
Helion Energy’s technology has received $4+ M non-dilutive U.S. Department of Energy seed funding to demonstrate the concept at increasing scales. The team has contributed another $100k towards business development and ongoing technology development. Helion Energy is seeking a $35M Series B. This three year round has several funding gates and will demonstrate a reactor scale fusion core that will exceed the performance of any fusion energy source ever built. Series B will also demonstrate direct electricity generation and finalize the commercial power plant design. Subsequently, a commercial 50 MW pilot plant will be constructed over a two year period .
The Helion approach appears to be similar to that of the Tri-Alpha Energy mentioned in the Nature article.