There is a new idea being proposed by Charles Stevens of the Massuchusetts based company, Laser Power Systems is to work on a system for a turbine-electric generator system that is based on a accelerator driven thorium based laser. Unlik conventional laser’s which produce a beam of light, this one simply produces heat and gives off energy. He says this application could be used for off grid residential needs or even to power cars.
Thorium is a slighly radioactive element that is plentiful as lead It can be found in abundance in India and can be used in nuclear reactor’s instead of uranium because it’s fission i considered not to be self sustaining, a reaction type considered to be non-critical.The idea being that this could be used as a green energy to power a car for the lifetime of the car. It would be emissions free and would never need recharging.
The LPS power plant is not a radical departure from more traditional power generation. The thorium is lased, which results in heat flashes a fluid and creates pressurized steam within a closed loop system.This produces steam which in turn drives the turbine that operates an lectric generator.Steven’s claims that a 250kw unit weighing about 500 lbs would be small and light enough to fit uner the hood of a car and generate about 335 hp. LPS calculates that 8 grams of thorium could power an average car for approximately 300,000 miles.
Researchers in North America, India, China, and Russia have all been studying the use of thorium to power nuclear reactors. One reason being that it is more difficult to use in nuclear weapons than uranium or plutonium. It also just needs a thin layer of aluminum foil to protect people from the weakly emitting material.Prototype thorium fueled nuclear reactors have been developed, it has never been adopted for commercial usage.
Mr Stevens innovative use of thorium is to make a laser and not a nuclear reactor. He further states that making a compact turbine and generator is proving to be more difficult to make than the laser.He has modified a Tesla turbine to convert steam pressure into a rotary motion His team also had to design a high speed generator to efficiently produce electricity for this unique green energy power generation system.
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By: Gary James