Brandon Sorbom, Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Cambridge, MA
The REBCO high-temperature superconductor industry is starting to experience a rapid scale-up in volume because of demand from fusion applications. Taking advantage of the substantial technological leap that HTS represents for high-field magnet technology, an energy-breakeven fusion device called SPARC will begin construction in 2021 and will be commissioned in 2025. A fusion pilot plant called ARC will follow, with the aim of putting fusion power on the grid in the early 2030’s. The SPARC team has already developed HTS cable technology and is currently building a large, high-field demonstration coil to prove out the magnet technology to be used in SPARC and ARC. In order to build this demonstration coil, the largest order of HTS, by a factor of 10x, was placed across multiple vendors in 2019 and delivered throughout 2019 and the beginning of 2020. The industry has rapidly responded to the performance demands required by high-field fusion magnets, with over half of the existing supply base increasing their performance over the past year in order to be considered as a supplier for SPARC. The next challenge will be for the industry to continue to scale to fusion-relevant volumes of HTS, which will be discussed in this talk.