Lithium Wall Digitizer & System Architecture

MistyWest supported General Fusion’s mission to develop a novel and commercially viable approach to fusion energy with a diagnostics system architecture design.


As the planet adapts to hotter climates and developing countries raise standards of living, the demand for clean energy solutions continues to increase in the 21st century. By the year 2050, Earth will be home to an additional two billion people – all of whom will require energy to live, work and enjoy their lives.

General Fusion is on a mission to develop a novel and commercially viable approach to fusion energy. A member of the prestigious 2022 Global Cleantech 100, General Fusion believes in finding a practical way to meet the additional energy demand in a carbon-free manner while decarbonizing current energy production.

Central to General Fusion’s vision is the belief in collaboration between science and society to successfully achieve low carbon economies. They actively partner with BC-based organizations who are also passionate about clean energy solutions, which is how they were initially introduced to MistyWest for a diagnostics system architecture design.

Source: General Fusion website

The Solution

General Fusion was looking for a digitized solution for capturing analog signals from their test and diagnostics system that could address issues they were having with scalability, data integrity and high maintenance requirements.

MistyWest developed a system architecture of a digitizer that was robust enough to operate in a high voltage and high electromagnetic interference (EMI) environment, and could be scaled to accommodate future expansion plans.

Following the digitizer project, MistyWest was asked by General Fusion to conceptualize new methods for accurately measuring the shape of a rapidly-changing liquid lithium wall. This lithium wall is used as a protective material to withstand extreme conditions within a fusion reactor.

An all-hands team ideation and brainstorming session was hosted with the client to understand requirements for lithium compatibility and high EMI. MistyWest then proposed and performed feasibility research on four measurement concepts: patterned illumination imaging, in-cavity impedance probes, pulsed lidar and ultrasound. Three of the proposed concepts were selected by the client to move forward with development.


MistyWest’s work with General Fusion is helping strengthen partnerships with BC-based CleanTech companies, aligning with their strategy to create clusters that accelerate innovation in fusion and related technologies.

General Fusion has since received approval to build a reactor near the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) Culham Campus, and funding to begin development of a Richmond, BC based reactor expected to be providing energy to the grid by the early-to-mid 2030’s.

Source: Vancouver Tech Journal
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