Clean energy company will work with university to research plasma compression technology necessary for fusion energy
MONTREAL, Quebec & BURNABY, British Columbia—(July 14, 2014)—In its mission to be the first to develop commercial fusion energy technology, clean energy pioneer General Fusion has teamed up with McGill University scientists to research a key element in the fusion process.
At its heart, General Fusion’s Magnetized Target Fusion approach involves forming a hydrogen plasma (hot gas), confined by magnetic fields, and then heating the plasma to fusion conditions by rapidly compressing it in a metal enclosure. The project, made possible through an Engage Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, will use McGill’s unique diagnostic capabilities to develop techniques to understand the behaviour of the metal wall during compression and how it may affect the plasma.
This project is a first for both McGill and General Fusion. In fact, Engage grants are designed to foster the development of new research partnerships between an academic researcher and a company that have never collaborated before. The parties have already begun discussions on how to extend the research partnership to examine other areas of shock physics relevant to General Fusion’s power plant concept.
“McGill’s advanced diagnostics will allow us to learn more about the behaviour of the metal wall and how it interacts with plasma as it is compressed,” said Chief Scientist Michel Laberge. “The work will be invaluable to our objective of testing and perfecting our approach to generating fusion energy.”
The project will also feature the involvement of McGill graduate students who will gain valuable experience in state of the art, ultra-high-speed diagnostics.
The research findings from this study will also form the basis of publications to be submitted to the Journal of Applied Physics, co-authored by General Fusion and McGill scientists.