• 30 mins Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 2 hours Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 2 hours OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 18 hours U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 20 hours Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 22 hours Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 24 hours EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 1 day Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 1 day Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 4 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 4 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 4 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 4 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 4 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 4 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 5 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 5 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 5 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 5 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 5 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 5 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 5 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 5 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 5 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 5 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 6 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 6 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 6 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
  • 6 days Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms
  • 6 days Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise
  • 6 days South Sudan Tightens Oil Industry Security
  • 7 days Over 1 Million Bpd Remain Offline In Gulf Of Mexico
  • 7 days Turkmenistan To Spend $93-Billion On Oil And Gas Sector
  • 7 days Indian Hydrocarbon Projects Get $300 Billion Boost Over 10 Years
  • 7 days Record U.S. Crude Exports Squeeze North Sea Oil
  • 7 days Iraq Aims To Reopen Kirkuk-Turkey Oil Pipeline Bypassing Kurdistan
  • 7 days Supply Crunch To Lead To Oil Price Spike By 2020s, Expert Says
  • 7 days Saudi Arabia Ups November Oil Exports To 7-Million Bpd
  • 7 days Niger Delta State Looks To Break Free From Oil
  • 8 days Brazilian Conglomerate To Expand Into Renewables
Alt Text

5 Players To Watch In The FinTech Revolution

Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain tech…

Alt Text

The Trillion Dollar Market That Stopped Chasing Profits

The revolution in the automobile…

Alt Text

The Next Big Digital Disruption In Energy

Blockchain technology is transforming the…

Gaurav Agnihotri

Gaurav Agnihotri

Gaurav Agnihotri, a Mechanical engineer and an MBA -Marketing from ICFAI (Institute of Chartered Financial Accountants), Mumbai, is a result oriented and a business focused…

More Info

Could The ‘Fusion Engine’ Become a Reality Before 2020?

Could The ‘Fusion Engine’ Become a Reality Before 2020?

Fusion has always been maligned by the old joke that it is a breakthrough technology that is just 20 years away…and always will be. Indeed, fusion energy has failed to materialize despite decades of hype. Although the idea has repeatedly disappointed, the concept of generating energy from fusion is still around as companies like Lockheed Martin, Lawrenceville Plasma, Tri Alpha and Helion Energy are developing their own fusion reactors.

Fusion is a basically a process through which the heated ions collide and fuse together by releasing an enormous amount of energy which is almost 4 times the intensity of a nuclear fission reaction. Another advantage of a fusion reaction is that it is much cleaner and safer when compared to a fission reaction.

There have been some ‘promising’ developments in the field of nuclear fusion in last few years. Related: Some Small But Welcome Relief For WTI

Lockheed martin, the U.S. defense giant, has been one of the front runners in an effort to successfully develop and commercialize the nuclear fusion reaction as it has been working on a ‘compact fusion’ reactor that might be capable of powering commercial ships, power stations and air travel in the near future. Helion Energy is another company that has been in news thanks to the fresh round of funding for its own fusion reactor.

Helion Energy raises a substantial amount for its own fusion reactor

Image Source: NextBigFuture

Helion Energy raised close to $10 million in a recent funding round that took place in July 2015. This was disclosed by Helion through a filing with Securities and Exchange Commission. This funding would enable the Redmond-based group to build its own fusion reactor for generating massive amounts of clean power.

What is interesting is the fact that the company further intends to raise more than $21 million by continuing the current raising. Helion is working on a ‘Magneto- Inertial’ fusion process which combines the heat of pulsed inertial fusion and the stable nature of steady magnetic fusion. Helion claims that this combination creates a ‘system’ which is cheaper and smaller than other fusion reactors such as the one being developed by Lockheed Martin. Related: Oil Prices Driven Lower By Everything Except Fundamentals

As the company gears up to perform further tests and experiments, it’s CEO- David Kirtley, has indicated that Helion would be able to develop its fusion machine by 2016 at an expected cost of $35 million. He further claims that Helion could build commercial fusion systems by year 2020 at a cost of $200 million.

Detailed Plan or a ‘Pipe dream’?

Calling its creation “The Fusion Engine,” Helion Energy’s system would heat helium and deuterium from seawater as plasma and then compress it to achieve fusion temperature (greater than 100 million degrees) using magnetic fields. Although this seems to be a perfect technological innovation, there is still a lot to be done as far as getting the fusion engine to hold up under strict field tests. The size of these reactors, for example, is still a drawback as they are bulky and occupy a lot of space. Related: Wind Energy Could Blow U.S. Coal Industry Away

“I would like nuclear fusion to become a practical power source. It would provide an inexhaustible supply of energy, without pollution or global warming,” said the world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. If there are timely innovations in field of superconductors, batteries and materials that facilitate a compact and a more efficient fusion reactor, that could be enough to make fusion energy viable. The technology that is available today can only produce a Helion ‘fusion engine’ which is capable of producing commercial energy of around 50 megawatts.

Still, there have been many promises before. We should await more permanent proof that the scientists can overcome the significant engineering obstacles in their way. But, unlike in the past, there are now a range of private companies and venture capital in the space, no doubt a development that bodes well for the technology’s eventual commercialization.

By Gaurav Agnihotri for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News