Listen to this article Microsoft Takes A Big, Risky Gamble On Nuclear Fusion
Microsoft’s Deal to Buy Electricity from Helion Energy’s Nuclear Fusion Generator
In a groundbreaking move, Microsoft has signed a deal to purchase electricity from Helion Energy’s nuclear fusion generator. By 2028, the tech giant aims to plug the energy generated from the project into a power grid in Washington.
Helion Energy’s Project Details
Helion Energy’s plasma accelerator heats fuel to an incredibly high temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius. This causes the fusion of deuterium and helium-3 into a plasma, which is then compressed with pulsed magnetic fields until fusion occurs. The project’s goal is to generate at least 50MW of power, which is enough to power approximately 40,000 homes.
The project’s ultimate goal is to make fusion energy cost-competitive with other energy sources. Helion’s target is to achieve a cost of one cent per kilowatt hour. The company’s plasma accelerator technology has the potential to make the system smaller, cheaper, and easier to iterate, as it aims to recapture the electricity used to trigger the reaction.
Challenges Faced by Helion Energy
Experts note that the project is likely to face multiple challenges in developing efficient and affordable methods for producing commercial quantities of helium-3 fuel. Helium-3 fuel is created by fusing deuterium atoms together in Helion’s plasma accelerator.
In order to be successful, Helion Energy will need to achieve remarkable breakthroughs within a very short span of time. This will allow for commercialization of the technology, which is necessary to make it cost-competitive with other energy sources.
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