TAE Technologies, Inc. (formerly Tri Alpha Energy), the world’s largest and most advanced private fusion company, has announced that its proprietary beam-driven field-reversed configuration (FRC) plasma generator, Norman, surpassed a new technical milestone, bringing the company closer to the reality of commercial fusion power. This latest achievement marks a significant step in the company’s mission to create a global energy revolution with clean, safe, sustainable fusion energy. Norman, the $100MM National Laboratory-scale device named for company founder Dr. Norman Rostoker, was unveiled in May 2017 and quickly reached first plasma in June 2017. After over 4,000 experiments to date, Norman has now exceeded the capabilities and performance of the company’s previous FRC plasma generator, C-2U, and sets a new company record for plasma temperature. These efforts track with the company’s plans and scientific requirements for a successful fusion reaction, where plasma must be hot enough to enable forceful enough collisions to cause fusion, and sustain itself long enough to harness the power at will (coined the Hot Enough/Long Enough or HE/LE milestone). After over 100,000 experiments, TAE made breakthroughs in plasma confinement and stability, proving the Long Enough component in 2015. A year later, the company began building its fifth-generation device, the more powerful and sophisticated Norman, to further test plasma temperature increases in pursuit of Hot Enough.
TAE Technologies’ revolutionary approach to fusion combines advanced accelerator and plasma physics, and uses abundant, non-radioactive hydrogenboron (pB-11) as a fuel source. The proprietary magnetic beam-driven FRC technology injects high-energy hydrogen atoms into the plasma to make the system more stable and better confined. This solution is compact and energy efficient, yielding a practical commercial power plant that is economically competitive with other energy technologies and provides continuous baseload power generation.