Guided by advanced computer simulation, General Fusion is developing and optimizing each of these components in preparation to build a demonstration fusion power plant.
The liquid metal inner wall is a major practical advantage of General Fusion’s approach, both compressing the plasma and capturing the energy from the reaction. In 2012, the company built a compression system prototype, demonstrating the ability to pump liquid metal and form a vortex.
An array of pistons is used to collapse the liquid metal vortex and compress the plasma. To form a perfectly symmetrical shockwave, these pistons must strike within fractions of a second of each other. Through its compression system prototype, General Fusion has demonstrated the ability to synchronize two-tonne pistons to within 5 microseconds accuracy, exceeding the timing precision required in a power plant.