Tokamak Energy said this week it had demonstrated a transformative magnet protection technology that improves the commercial viability of fusion power plants.
With such a system "this next-generation technology delivers higher performance than alternative magnet systems," the company from the UK said.
Results from the latest tests validated a new approach to scaling up high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, which are highly resilient to plasma disruptions. The technology, known as “partial insulation”, allows the magnets to be built and operated at power plant size and provides a simpler alternative to traditional superconducting magnet protection systems. As such, this "accelerates the commercial viability of fusion power," said Tokamak.
“For the first time, this latest test gives fusion developers an option for a new design of superconducting magnet that will be resistant to damage, reducing the cost and complexity of damage mitigation systems and the threat of downtime," said Chris Kelsall, CEO of Tokamak Energy.
"Tokamak Energy’s two world leading core technologies – the spherical tokamak and HTS magnets – are central to the company’s mission to develop economic fusion in compact power plants," he added.
Tokamaks use magnets to contain and isolate a plasma so that it can reach the high temperatures at which fusion occurs. High magnetic fields are necessary for tokamaks to contain the superheated fuel, and higher magnetic fields enable a smaller tokamak.
Tokamak Energy team is currently manufacturing a new test facility and demonstration system with a full set of magnets. This will test the interaction of all the HTS magnets and validate their use within a full tokamak system for the first time. The new magnet system is scheduled for testing in 2022.
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