SPARC is aiming to be the first experimental device to achieve an energy-positive fusion reaction. New research suggests that this goal may soon be within reach.
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With construction slated to begin in spring 2021, the team predicts it could be built within 3 to 4 years from that. Their goal is to achieve a Q factor of at least 2, basically meaning SPARC will pump out twice the energy needed to power it.
Actually, by the calculations in their papers, SPARC could possibly achieve a Q ratio of 10! But the researchers are cautious about overpromising, and are just focused on achieving the lower figure.
It’s still impressive, considering any net gain would be a first for human created controlled fusion.
Assuming it gets built along that predicted 3-4 year timeline and actually gets flipped on, there’s still several steps between SPARC and limitless clean energy.
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