History of Innovation
Forging the path to perfect power.
TAE Technologies was founded in 1998 with the goal of delivering limitless carbon-free electricity to the grid using non-radioactive hydrogen-boron fusion. Backed by over $1.2 billion in private investment, commercializing this ideal clean energy source has guided our progress and informed every decision we’ve made on our path to help solve our nation’s energy dependence and climate crisis.
WHY FUSIONFusion is nature’s preferred source of energy; it’s what powers the sun and stars, and makes life possible on Earth. Terrestrial fusion can provide a high power density energy solution to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. However, harnessing energy from the fusion reaction is one of the most formidable challenges in history. Doing so depends on achieving two conditions: 1) confining plasma at sufficiently high temperatures, and 2) doing so for a long enough amount of time to sustain a fusion reaction.
THE TAE DIFFERENCESince our inception, TAE has been committed to pursuing fusion with hydrogen-boron, a fuel source without environmental impact, particulate emissions, or radioactivity. It is safe, plentiful with over 100,000 years of supply, and accessed all across the world – but it requires maintaining higher temperatures to produce an energy-generating fusion reaction. In order to achieve these performance levels, TAE developed a proprietary platform called an advanced beam-driven Field-Reversed Configuration (FRC). This approach combines the deepest insights of plasma physics and accelerator physics to heat and stabilize plasma. In addition, this compact linear configuration enables a physically smaller and therefore more scalable and cost-effective device. The result: TAE will deliver, this decade, power to the grid from our clean fusion and be ready to install reactors wherever power demand exists — including in dense urban areas — at a fraction of the cost of many other energy sources in wide use today. This will enable the fastest, most practical, and economically competitive solution to meet our growing energy needs, stem the effects of climate change, and offer global energy independence.
THE PATH TO PERFECT POWER
The first 15 years of our history were times of immense innovation, proving our unique approach to fusion, its usability with a cleaner fusion fuel, and our ability to harness this reaction for energy. The last five years, however, have been a period of exponential progress — partly enabled by advances in technologies like machine learning, additive manufacturing, and advanced power management. Commercializing our fusion energy solution is not only viable, but imminent. Fusion has also given TAE insight to developing breakthroughs in advanced therapeutics for cancer patients and revolutionary technologies for energy storage and e-mobility.
With an experienced team of more than 600 employees; an independent science advisory panel including Nobel Laureates and Maxwell Prize winners; five National Laboratory-scale devices; and two additional machines in development, TAE is on the cusp of delivering the perfect energy source to sustain the planet for generations to come.
HISTORY OF INNOVATION
Goal: Explore TAE’s original concept of combining plasma physics and accelerator physics in a compact linear configuration, as developed by Norman Rostoker and TAE founders
Milestone achieved: Developed compact stable plasma core; fuel injector methodology (1998 – 2000s)
Goal: Validate TAE’s configuration in a fully integrated machine
Milestone achieved: Proof of plasma confinement technique (2012)
Goal: Demonstrate TAE’s configuration can confine plasma for sufficient time to validate core stability
Milestone achieved: Fulfilled first of two essential requirements for fusion with proof that TAE’s approach could sustain plasma indefinitely at operator will (2015)
Goal: Demonstrate TAE’s advanced beam-driven field-reversed configuration can sustain plasma confinement at temperatures needed to confidently scale to reactor level performance
Milestone achieved: Fulfilled second of two essential requirements for fusion with proof of science for stable plasma at 50M+ degrees Celsius (2019); Norman now operates at 70M+ degrees Celsius (2022)
Goal: Integrate time and temperature performance levels to demonstrate the viability of net energy from our system, i.e. harvesting more power out than it takes to run the machine
Milestone expected: Mid-decade
Goal: Create the world’s first prototype hydrogen-boron fusion power plant delivering net electrons to the grid
Milestone expected: Early 2030s