Serial Uses of Fusion Heat Energy
FPC’s integrated system uses heat in a series of processes. The highest value-added processes use the heat at its hottest, exploiting the new highs of working temperatures provided by FPC’s chamber. As conversions of the heat energy to electricity and chemical energy in hydrogen progressively reduce the temperatures of the working fluids, heat at more At the low temperatures end, the heat remaining with seawater desalination, integrated with the cooling tower at the cycle’s low temperature end. The efficiency of each process is determined by the Carnot efficiency for converting the fusion energy released to practical forms such as liquid fuel, electricity, and water useful in the economy.
A unique, large advantage of FPC’s system is that the conversion efficiency of high working temperatures also applies to the neutrons that carry 80% of the energy of the fusion reaction. FPC’s chamber concept captures all the energy of the neutrons and the alpha-particles (which quickly pick up electrons to form helium atoms) at extraordinarily high temperature, and delivers this heat to heat exchangers that are conventional in all ways—except their operation at advantageously raised temperatures.
With liquid metal heat exchangers, the heat at the high temperature end provides the essential requirement for hydrogen production using well known thermochemical processes. This hydrogen, CO2 from the atmosphere, and more heat are used to make carbon neutral liquid fuels and chemical feedstocks. Electricity is made by either, or both, conventional steam turbines or with more efficient higher temperature gas turbines, depending on market needs. The Hydrogen we produce can also be used as a feed stock for the production of fertilizers.
Electricity will always be one of our primary products for it is easy to transport and use. A fully developed system can deliver up to 35 GW of electricity but if fuel is the primary output product this is reduced to about 15 GW. This is still a very large amount of electricity and it will be necessary to have a major upgrade to the grid if this amount of electricity is to be marketed via the grid. Our alternative approach is to encourage energy consuming industries, such as smelting, electrical refining, and metals reprocessing industries to be co-located industrial users.
After portions of the heat energy are used at high temperatures for processes that require it, the remaining heat is put to important economic uses in other processes that operate at lower temperatures. Potential for such “co-generation” is well known, but often neglected because its value to power plant operators can be less than its headaches. This conclusion changes, however, when the total economic value is large. Discharging heat in freshwater and returning no waste to the ocean avoid downsides of desalination.