Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), a startup commercializing fusion energy, has raised $115 million and closed its Series A round. New participants in the round include Future Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lowercase Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Safar Partners, Schooner Capital, and Starlight Ventures who join Eni, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, The Engine and other investors committed to supporting the commercialization of fusion energy. CFS is collaborating with MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center to develop the world’s first net energy gain fusion system, called SPARC.
CFS will produce first-of-its-kind high-temperature superconductor magnets to build smaller and lower-cost fusion power plants. This funding will allow CFS to demonstrate its magnet technology at full scale. CFS in collaboration with MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center will use these magnets to build SPARC by 2025 and demonstrate net energy gain from fusion for the first time in history. SPARC will pave the way for the first commercially viable fusion power plant called ARC, which will produce fusion power onto the grid.
1. Alcator C-Mod: Plasma Performance Basis Completed 2. HTS Magnets: Enabling Technology In progress 3. SPARC: Fusion Energy Demonstration Starting in 2021 4. ARC: Commercialization Starting 2025
1. Alcator C-Mod is a compact, high-magnetic field tokamak at MIT that has provided much of the research basis for SPARC. As a result of DOE funded research on Alcator C-Mod the team developed the science that retired key risk in the path toward commercial fusion. The compact configuration enabled our team to rapidly incorporate innovations and provide time sensitive answers to questions surrounding fusion science and technology. In 2016, C-Mod broke its own record for plasma pressure in a magnetically confined device, an important measurement for fusion.
2. A new high temperature superconductor (HTS) recently reached industrial maturity: Rare Earth Barium Copper Oxide (REBCO). CFS is using HTS and building first-of-its-kind high-field large-bore superconducting magnets. HTS magnets will allow for smaller, faster, and less expensive tokamaks using the science developed on Alcator C-Mod and other tokamaks.
3. Commonwealth Fusion Systems is collaborating with MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center to build SPARC, the world’s first fusion device that produces plasmas which generate more energy than they consume, becoming the first net-energy fusion machine. SPARC will the pave the way for carbon-free, safe, limitless, fusion power. This compact, high-field tokamak will be built with HTS magnets, allowing for a smaller device than previous magnet technology. SPARC is an important step to accelerate the development of commercial fusion energy.
4. Following the SPARC demonstration, CFS will construct the world’s first fusion power plant, ARC. ARC will produce fusion power onto the grid and demonstrate the science and technology required for economically competitive, mass production of fusion power. It will pave the way for fusion systems that will provide carbon-free, safe, limitless power for the world.
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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