LPPFusion has raised $370,000 out of a minimum $400,000 funding round.
LPPFusion is a small New Jersey R and D firm with the ambitious goal of reaching and developing a new route to producing fusion energy, the energy that powers the sun. Their technology is called Focus Fusion.
New experimental results, published in the October issue of the leading peer-reviewed journal Physics of Plasmas, demonstrated the highest confined mean ion energy of any fusion experiment in the world, an ion energy equivalent to a temperature of over 2.5 billion degrees C. This is over 200 times hotter than the center of the sun.
UC San Diego and LPPFusion have formalized a collaboration with an agreement on October 2. They aim to develop a dense plasma focus (DPF) device for fusion energy. “The alternate fusion schemes offer a potential route to fusion energy that could be faster and much cheaper than other approaches,” explains CER Director, Farhat N. Beg. “LPPFusion is a leader in this field and will make available to CER its research data and expertise to help us set up our own DPF facility at UC San Diego.”
LPPFusion’s FF-1 device is one of only a few mega-ampere DPFs in the world. Our research in the coming year will involve the first experiments using hydrogen-boron fuel. This fuel produces energy in the form of charged particles only, not neutrons, which both eliminates radioactive waste and makes possible inexpensive direct conversion of energy to electricity.
“The collaboration with the Center for Energy Research will help us to better analyze and understand our data,” said LPPFusion President and Chief Scientist Eric J. Lerner. “Their expertise in plasma simulation will aid our efforts in modeling our experiments. We also expect that, once their own DPF is functioning, we can perform joint experiments that will help demonstrate how the DPF energy output scales with energy input. That is crucial to achieving the goal of getting more energy out of the device than we put into it.”
The money raised through the crowdfunding camping will go to speed the scientific research by allowing the hiring of more researchers and by funding the next set of experiment. These experiments will use beryllium electrodes in the experimental FF-1 device and then proceed to the use of hydrogen-boron fuel. This fuel produces no radioactive waste.
To achieve the future we want for ourselves and our children, we must replace fossil fuels with a cheap, clean, safe, and unlimited energy source. Our small, decentralized 5 MW generators will use hydrogen and boron fuel, both of which are essentially unlimited in nature, to allow a direct conversion of energy to electricity without expensive turbines or radioactive waste. The cost will be 10 times cheaper than any existing energy source, meaning our Focus Fusion technology can change the world.
Achieved the highest confined temperature of any fusion generator device, over 2 billion degrees, which is sufficient for hydrogen-boron fusion.
Raised a total of $6 million from 90 investors since 2008.
PHASE I: [What the $1 million is for, fund experiments to prove fusion breakeven with this approach]
Build on progress of past 3 years and continue enhancing LPPF’s DPF research device Focus Fusion – 1 until it has achieved Fusion Breakeven Milestone.
With adequate funding LPPF projects net fusion output in 1–2 years. Having proved feasibility, assemble grants and investment capital to fund Phase II.
Beryllium, a very light metal, has long been planned for the next set of electrodes and has strong advantages over other materials. “We expect that beryllium electrodes will solve the impurity problem that has been limiting fusion energy yields for years,” says LPPF Chief Scientist Eric J. Lerner. The key reason is that the effect of impurity ions on the plasma is proportional to the square of the ion’s electric charge. Since beryllium has only 4 electric charges (four protons in the nucleus) each beryllium ion has an effect of 16. That is 300 times less than one tungsten ion (used in the current FF-1 electrodes) and 50 times less than one copper ion.
This great reduction in impact on the plasma is expected to greatly lift fusion yield. In addition, the plasma will radiate far less energy, reducing x-ray damage to the anode tip. Finally, beryllium is nearly transparent to most x-rays, further reducing the damage to the anode. This will allow anodes in a future fusion generator to withstand hundreds of millions of fusion pulses before needing replacement.
Expand staff and facilities and begin engineering development of a prototype continuously operating Focus Fusion generator. Contract out some system development to engineering companies with best in class expertise in necessary technologies. Add to patents/intellectual property. Estimated duration 3–4 years.
Negotiate non exclusive licensing agreements with several large international high tech companies to manufacture LPPF design fusion power units. LPPF will provide consulting services to licensees as they refine their commercial designs prior to mass production. At some time in Phase III LPPF expects to engage an investment bank to manage an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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