TAE Technologies is leveraging proprietary science and engineering to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Our core mission is to create a new source of clean energy – one that’s powered by nature’s own processes and produces no harmful byproducts. It’s what we call Friendly Fusion. Our groundbreaking work has effected industry-wide advances in accelerator and plasma physics, and acted as a catalyst for adjacent innovations based on our results. With 20 years of focused research, TAE Technologies is on a purposeful path to commercial fusion energy and pioneering sustainable solutions for a better tomorrow.
Our climate-threatened world demands a new source of power that addresses the global need for 24/7 on-demand electricity. TAE Technologies is answering the planet’s call by addressing the inherent downsides of our current sources of power with affordable, abundant, carbon-free energy for everyone – with no impact on the environment, no harmful byproducts and no risk of meltdown.
In short: Friendly Fusion.
Harnessing the process by which the stars release vast quantities of energy – through the fusion of hydrogen atoms in hot plasma – is one of the greatest scientific undertakings of our time. Indebted to the brilliant minds who pioneered fusion research, TAE Technologies is developing proprietary techniques to reproduce nature’s process using hydrogen-boron as our fuel source. Why hydrogen-boron? Because both elements are readily available and non-radioactive. In fact, they are used by our bodies every day for healthy cell function.
Over the last 20 years, we have continued to build on our early technology and evolve our advanced beam-driven field-reversed configuration (FRC) approach. The underlying science is being validated every day, and we are now rapidly approaching the reality of a commercially competitive fusion solution. This has resulted in an ever-increasing portfolio of over 800 patents, either granted or applied for globally.
TAE Technologies is backed by over half a billion dollars in venture capital from some of the world’s leading energy and technology investors – including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Venrock, and Wellcome Trust. Our shareholders include Google, as well as global technology firms and universities – all of whom believe that the private sector is best equipped to create this public good.
Only time remains for us to achieve our mission.
In the early 1990s, at the University of California Irvine (UCI), Professor Norman Rostoker and his student, Michl Binderbauer, began focusing on the need for an applied approach to fusion research.
Starting with the goal of a commercially competitive fusion power plant, their unique solution integrated the proven science and technology of the world’s particle accelerators (such as those at the European research organization CERN) with a well-understood plasma physics approach called field-reversed configuration (FRC).
This was the core invention of TAE Technologies.
Drs. Rostoker and Binderbauer developed a fusion technology that – when combined with the hydrogen-boron fuel cycles, as emphasized by Professor Hendrik Monkhorst from the University of Florida – largely removes neutron generation, thus facilitating easier engineering and a safer environmental profile than conventional nuclear methods.
The proprietary beam-driven FRC approach utilizes injection of beams of high-energy hydrogen atoms to develop and sustain a predominantly large orbit particle plasma, making the system more stable, better confined and fusion more achievable. Further, this solution is compact and energy efficient, yielding a practical power plant size of 200-500 megawatts, and it is economically competitive with other power technologies, providing continuous baseload power generation.
Creating fusion energy requires a superheated and contained plasma environment in which particles can fuse, releasing massive amounts of energy. The challenge that’s long bedeviled physicists on the path to fusion power is sustaining the reaction at sufficiently high energy for a long enough period of time.
TAE Technologies’ research is focused on achieving this Hot Enough, Long Enough (HELE) milestone. To date, we have run over 50,000 experiments to test and advance our hypotheses.
The time component – the Long Enough (LE) part of the equation – is the most significant hurdle to sustaining the fusion reaction. In June 2015, TAE Technologies achieved a scientific breakthrough by sustaining an advanced beam-driven FRC plasma of over 10 million degrees (about the temperature of the core of our sun) for over 10 milliseconds, a timescale much longer than the time periods associated with all intrinsic loss mechanisms. This thereby demonstrated stability and confinement performance, when replicated at higher temperatures, will enable an economic reactor.
Norman, our fifth-generation machine, posthumously named after Dr. Rostoker, will advance our research into the Hot Enough (HE) component of the HELE milestone.
It is a formidable challenge, indeed: Hydrogen-boron fusion requires considerably hotter conditions than other available source elements. However, we remain undaunted because hydrogen-boron is the safest known fuel cycle.
Accomplishing a vision of this magnitude requires an unprecedented gathering of world-class experts.
The illustrious TAE Technologies team includes physicists, engineers and deep specialists in areas like FRC plasma theory and science; accelerator and beam physics; control and simulations; magnets, pulsed power and electronics; diagnostics, and ultra-high vacuum technologies. Our advisory panel includes numerous Nobel laureates, Maxwell Prize winners and members of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering.
Our CEO is Steven Specker and our President/CTO is Michl Binderbauer. Our board is chaired by Arthur Samberg and includes Ernie Moniz; John Mack; Dick Meserve; Ray Rothrock; Dick Kramlich; and Mike Buchanan, among others.
TAE Technologies is based out of state-of-the-art plasma research facilities in Orange County, California. We are a team of over 160, representing 30 countries of origin, on a mission to provide the world’s growing population with safe, sustainable and affordable energy.