Proxima Fusion, a German firm, stated that it has raised the equivalent of roughly $8.6 million to create a stellarator, which resembles a deformed and unusually twisted French cruller doughnut 😉 Stellarators have a very complex design, with a series of magnets spiraling around the plasma. Although stellarator is super hard to design but once you’ve designed it, it’s way easier to operate.
Proxima is basing its techn on work developed at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP.) Scientists and engineers at the institute have worked on Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) — pictured above — the world’s largest and most technologically advanced stellarator, which provides the basis for the future stellarator device at Proxima, which was spun out from IPP.
The company is talking big and is claiming that it hopes to get the world’s first nuclear fusion power plant operational “within the 2030s.”
Nuclear fusion, the mechanism that drives the Sun and other stars, has the potential to be a source of safe, clean, and abundant energy if harnessed and marketed, not to mention a game-changing instrument for combating the effects of climate change.
But that’s a big “if” – incalculable billions have been poured into the technology over the years, with nothing approaching a workable or scaled-up power generating system to show for it.
Reference- Interesting Engineering, Proxima Fusion PR & website, Futurism, Popular Science