Howden was recently awarded a contract with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to supply oil-free screw compressor to ITER, a major nuclear fusion project in the south of France. Howden manufactures oil-injected and oil-free rotary twin screw compressor packages, and supplies bare shaft oil-injected screw compressors.
ITER is expected to be the first fusion device to produce net energy – when the total power produced during a fusion plasma pulse surpasses the thermal power injected to heat the plasma. The project will be the first fusion device to maintain fusion for long periods of time. And ITER will be the first fusion device to test the integrated technologies, materials, and physics regimes necessary for the commercial production of fusion-based electricity. Over 35 countries are collaborating to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy through a tokamak. The project is attempting to generate 500 MW of fusion power from 50 MW of input heating power. ITER will not capture the energy it produces as electricity, but, as first of all fusion experiments in history to produce net energy gain, it hopes to pave the way for the machine that one day will.