Ten times more powerful than its predecessor, the world’s largest and most powerful plasma injector has begun operation at General Fusion’s facilities in Vancouver, Canada. This new machine (PI3) recently generated its first plasma, marking a significant step forward in the commercialization of the company’s technology — a technology that will transform the global energy industry. General Fusion’s commercialization program has moved forward rapidly, building on plasma performance milestones achieved in its smaller plasma injectors. The company has developed and tested 18 increasingly sophisticated plasma injectors over the past decade, culminating in PI3, which is the largest and most powerful such machine ever developed.
General Fusion is the only company currently developing a facility to demonstrate the complete end-to-end capability to produce electricity from fusion energy. This machine will be power plant size in order to confirm technology performance at commercial scale, but without the complexity of being a power generation facility. The company’s demonstration plant will combine both the plasma injection and the compression aspects of General Fusion’s unique technology solution. The facility is intended to demonstrate fusion energy conditions and refine the economics of overall power production using the company’s technology — the critical transition milestones to full commercialization.
Plasma, a superheated and ionized gas, is what gives neon signs and fluorescent light bulbs their glow. The unique properties of plasma enable it to be efficiently heated to extremely high temperatures and harnessed to produce fusion energy.
Fusion energy has the potential to safely provide carbon-free and economically competitive electricity, on-demand, anywhere in the world. Once commercialized, fusion power plants will play a vital role in meeting the need for new energy generation over the coming decades — a need which is forecast to increase 45% and constrained by global commitments to mitigate the impact of climate change.