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Startup Thea Energy has developed an approach to fusion energy Startup Thea Energy has developed an approach to fusion energy

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Startup Thea Energy has developed an approach to fusion energy that combines precision and cost – software-controlled magnets to stabilize plasma in fusion reactors

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Startup Thea Energy has set its sights on creating an innovative fusion power plant using an approach that combines aspects of two main plasma confinement methods: inertial and magnetic. The main task of engineers is to achieve reliable and stable plasma operation, which is a key point for successful operation.

Startup Thea Energy has developed an approach to fusion energy that combines precision and cost - software-controlled magnets to stabilize plasma in fusion reactors

Source: Thea Energy

Inertial plasma confinement is based on the use of lasers that evaporate a fuel pellet and create the necessary conditions for a thermonuclear reaction. This method gained popularity in late 2022 when it was convincingly shown that this is not science fiction, but real technology.

Magnetic plasma confinement, in turn, is based on the use of powerful magnetic fields to contain burning plasma inside the reactor. High-temperature superconductors are used to create suitable magnetic fields. They create magnetic fields of various shapes, the most common designs being tokamaks and stellarators.

Tokamaks are donut-shaped structures that are widely used in large reactors. They require high precision magnet manufacturing to ensure stable plasma confinement and maintain it at the required temperature. Stellarators are more complex designs that offer some advantages in plasma stabilization, but require even more precise magnet manufacturing. They are created with deliberately deformed magnetic fields, and the process of making each magnet requires a large amount of engineering and manufacturing know-how, which increases production costs.

Thea Energy decided to build a stellarator, but wanted to avoid the complexity and expense of creating complex magnetic fields. Instead, they used an approach developed at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. They equipped the donut-shaped reactor with an array of high-temperature superconducting magnets, each controlled by software.

The software controls the expansion and contraction of the magnetic fields of the various magnets in the array, allowing the plasma to behave as if it were inside a complex stellarator. This approach avoids the complex and costly manufacturing processes of the complex magnets required for stellarators.

Creating such a system is a complex technical process, but the Thea Energy team says it is up to the challenge. As Brian Berzin, co-founder and CEO of Thea Energy, noted, their approach can be compared to a flat coil with a computer display, where each magnet is a pixel controlled by software. Creating a stellarator shape with its inherent stability makes it possible to use conventional control computers, without the need for exotic systems.

To develop the system, Thea Energy used a modular approach, which allows for faster development and testing of the system. The company currently produces full-scale magnets in its Jersey City laboratory. This is comparable to the process of assembling magnets for the 64-foot ITER tokamak in France. However, thanks to its modular approach, Thea Energy can test individual magnets and small arrays that simulate the final design. This approach greatly simplifies the development process and allows for early testing.

The development of thermonuclear energy will require enormous efforts and financial investments. However, Thea Energy team is confident in the potential of its approach and continues to attract investment to further develop the project. The startup recently raised $20,000,000 in Series A funding from Prelude Ventures, 11.2 Capital, Anglo American, Hitachi Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital, Mercator Partners, Orion Industrial Ventures, and Starlight Ventures. This is a significant stage in the development of the project and a clear recognition of its potential in solving the energy problems of the future.

Thea Energy plans to build a pilot reactor in the coming years and develop a 350-megawatt demonstration power plant in the 2030s. The company aims to achieve a electricity production price of $50 per megawatt-hour by the time the commercial proposal is implemented. This is in line with the current cost of solar power with battery, the company said. At the same time, the proposed price will be slightly higher than the cost of a gas combined cycle power plant and slightly lower than the cost of a coal power plant. Therefore, if Thea Energy can achieve its goals, it will offer a competitive solution.

However, like all fusion energy startups, Thea Energy faces the same challenge: the complexity of mastering this technology is so high that no one has yet succeeded in commercializing it. So we have to think about how to lower costs so that fusion power reactors can compete with renewables and batteries, the prices of which continue to fall. There are several ways to achieve this goal, and Thea Energy’s approach appears promising and promising.

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Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 sports car declassified

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Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 sports car declassified

The sportiest version of the recently updated Hyundai Creta crossover has been declassified in India: orders for the Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 in the local market are already being accepted, but the official premiere will take place on March 11.

Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 sports car declassified

Judging by the photo, the crossover received more aggressive bumpers, a different radiator grille, and red accents on the body and interior design. Wheels will be 18 inches. According to Autocar India, the car will be offered in two trim levels: base and top-end. Accordingly, the first will have a manual gearbox, the second will have a robotic one. But there is only one engine – the most powerful: a 1.5-liter gasoline turbo engine with 160 hp.

Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 sports car declassified

Hyundai Creta N Line 2024 sports car declassified

Prices will be announced on the day of the premiere, but it is already clear that the Creta N Line will be the most expensive in the lineup.

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How much does it cost to repair Xiaomi 14 Ultra? The official price list for spare parts has been published

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How much does it cost to repair Xiaomi 14 Ultra

Xiaomi 14 Ultra has just gone on sale in China, but Xiaomi has already published the official price list for spare parts so that users understand how much it will cost to repair the device out of warranty.

How much does it cost to repair Xiaomi 14 Ultra?  The official price list for spare parts has been published

Despite the fact that Xiaomi 14 Ultra is currently the pinnacle of the Chinese company’s smartphone manufacturing, repair prices are approximately at the level of other flagships. Replacing the motherboard will cost the most – from 380 to 420 dollars, depending on the amount of memory soldered on it. Out-of-warranty replacement of the screen will cost $190, battery – $25, back cover – $40. Replacing the front camera is $10, speaker replacement is $5.

As for the camera, this is interesting. Replacing the main module with an inch Sony LYT-900 image sensor will cost $140! Replacement of a module with an ultra-wide-angle lens is $70, replacement of a module with a telephoto lens is only $25. And this is quite strange, since these modules use the same Sony IMX858 sensors, and the module with a telephoto lens is more complex due to the presence of an OIS system.

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Components

A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS, 32 GB of RAM, a built-in screen and a fingerprint scanner – for $515. Tianbao GEM12 introduced

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A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8 core

An atypical mini-computer went on sale on the Chinese marketplace JD.com. The creators of the device, called Tianbao GEM12, integrated a small screen and even a fingerprint scanner into the body, which can work as part of the Windows Hello biometric identification function.

A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS, 32 GB of RAM, a built-in screen and a fingerprint scanner - for $515.  Tianbao GEM12 introduced

The hardware basis of Tianbao GEM12 is an 8-core 16-thread Ryzen 7 7840HS processor with a Radeon 780M graphics core. The device is sold as a DIY kit for $350 or as a pre-configured system: 16GB/512GB for $430 and 32GB/1TB for $515.

A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS, 32 GB of RAM, a built-in screen and a fingerprint scanner - for $515.  Tianbao GEM12 introduced

A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS, 32 GB of RAM, a built-in screen and a fingerprint scanner - for $515.  Tianbao GEM12 introduced

The mini-PC cooling system has two heat pipes and one fan. The screen is used to display the time, album covers when playing music, and processor load. There is an integrated 2.5 Gbps wired Ethernet adapter with two RJ-45 ports and a module that implements Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 communications.

A mini PC weighing only 660 grams with an 8-core Ryzen 7 7840HS, 32 GB of RAM, a built-in screen and a fingerprint scanner - for $515.  Tianbao GEM12 introduced

Dimensions of the computer: 130 x 130 x 60 mm, weight: 660 grams.

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