Sonofusion Research Reactor Now Available from Impulse Devices
Impulse Devices, a developer of sonofusion power (acoustic inertial confinement fusion, AICF), announced Monday the availability of its research reactor to laboratories, universities, power equipment manufacturers and utilities attempting to produce a new alternative energy.
"Now, for the first time, developers of fusion energy to replace oil, coal, nuclear, wind and solar power can own an AICF reactor," said Mark Ludwig, CEO of Impulse Devices (IDI). "The technology could produce energy on a break-even basis in five years and enough net energy for electricity production in 10 years.
"The incentive is electricity at less than half the current price, with almost no pollution and no fossil fuel consumption."
Using proprietary technology, the IDI reactor is a stainless steel sphere filled with heavy water and, at its center, a small bubble of deuterium (heavy hydrogen). Sound waves cause the bubble, first to expand greatly, followed by its collapse to a fraction of its original size, all at the rate of thousands of times a second.
This produces enormous temperatures that, when high enough, fuse the heavy hydrogen into helium, releasing heat that could be used to create steam and drive a turbine to produce electricity.
With sonofusion, one gallon of heavy water at a fuel cost of just $200 would release about the same energy as one million gallons of gasoline (approximately 40,000 barrels of oil).
Fusion power has been studied for decades -- $2 billion is being spent on fusion research this year -- but single-bubble, acoustic inertial confinement was first discovered in 1989, by Dr. D. Felipe Gaitan, now Chief Scientist at IDI.
Compared to other forms of fusion power (magnetic and laser inertial confinement fusion), the equipment, materials and facilities necessary to develop acoustic fusion are very inexpensive and small. Further, sonofusion is relatively simple, and it could become commercial much sooner.
The IDI research reactor has a diameter of 1 foot and costs $250,000 with custom input-output systems and instrumentation.
Dr. Gaitan and the company's founder, Ross Tessien, believe that the development trend and the scientific evidence indicate that sonofusion technology will yield dramatic gains in power output, potentially beyond break even in as short a time as five years.
Impulse Devices designs and manufactures AICF research reactors, initially for national laboratories as well as major universities. The company also studies the science of AICF to more fully understand performance dynamics for future reactor designs.
IDI and several universities and laboratories are forming the Acoustic Fusion Technology Energy Consortium (AFTEC), to research and develop AICF and related technologies and equipment.
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