Sure, there the usual assortment of “X for Y” startups, but science and bitcoin companies abounded at startup accelerator Y Combinator’s Summer 2014 demo day.
The work out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is promising, but researchers still have a long road ahead of them before the technology comes anywhere near to commercial viability.
Professor Tom Murphy crunches the numbers for nuclear fusion power, and dissects its potential and problems.
Follow physics professor Tom Murphy on an exercise in galactic energy that points out the absurdity that results from the assumption that we can continue growing our consumption of energy forever.
Helion Energy, a startup developing engines powered by nuclear fusion, is certain to pique the interest of sci-fi fans. But the more important question for Helion President Philip Wallace is whether the same can be said of venture capitalists. That’s because the Seattle-based company is on the hunt for $20 million in financing to build a full-scale model of its fusion engine.
That engine, which the company currently has a prototype of at one-third scale, works by forming hot, ionized hydrogen gas. The gas is then electromagnetically accelerated to greater than 1 million mph and collided in a burn chamber to generate enormous amounts of heat energy.
The company’s plan is to sell its technology to new and existing power generation sites. Helion’s engines, once commercially ready, could be used to produce heat in power plants that currently rely on burning coal or natural gas, Wallace said. The heat runs steam turbines that drive generators to produce electricity. “We are very confident that we can out perform all carbon-based energy sources. If we can implement the technology, the economics follow,” he said.
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