What is plasma-based technology?

A plasma is created when a gas absorbs enough energy to separate the electrons from the nuclei, making it susceptible to electric and magnetic fields.

What makes plasma-based technology different from the current HVDC converters?

Our simplified hardware uses no capacitors or semiconductor switches. The device will rely on helical coils that induce output current and voltage through electrodes at the ends of plasma.

What advantages does HVDC have over AC?

Plasma-based electrical transformers have the potential to reduce the cost of transforming power by a factor of 2x-10x. HVDC cables can carry power 2-3 times farther over land than AC. HVDC also works better for underwater transmission than long AC lines, which require variable reactive power compensation and have higher line losses. With plasma-based devices, higher voltage actually improves efficiencies.

What makes this plasma-based electrical transformer a disruptive technology?

Disruptive technology has the potential to turn the current market upside down. Our innovations will make long distance transmission of electricity a lot more affordable, allowing increased access to renewable energy sources.

How does it work?

The prototype uses 3 helical electrodes placed inside a cylindrical vacuum chamber, with 2 DC electrodes as end caps, and a solenoid coil wrapped around the outside of the cylinder.

How is Tibbar Plasma Technologies, Inc. being funded?

TPTI received $3.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop scientific understanding and demonstrate efficiency.

What will happen at the conclusion of the project?

The ARPA-E award runs for 2 years. The device we develop will be shown to investors, customers, grant providers and licensees with the goal of bringing the new technology to market.

Have you identified any other areas of the project that require additional resources to develop?

TPTI is actively pursuing SBIR and other awards for advanced materials such as graphene coated electrodes and additive manufacturing technology like 3D laser sintering of ceramics.

How much will it cost to scale up the technology for large scale manufacturing?

TPTI Estimates that scaling up to a large scale manufacturing facility will require $50 million.

How much will the plasma-based electrical transformers cost?

Our best estimates show that the devices will cost $65/installed KW with margins that will fund future growth.

What other applications besides HVDC could use the 3-phase DC transformers?

The transformers have potential for use in electric car charging, micro grids, data centers, and in large, electrified platforms for transportation such as ships and trains.

How fast is the HVDC converter market growing?

Due to many factors, including increased use of wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources, continued population growth, and increased demand for power worldwide, the market is estimated to grow to $10.7 billion by 2022 (9.8% CAGR).