Eight years ago, Richard Nebel retired after serving as a theoretical plasma physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Retirement did not suit him, however, and he craved the pursuit of science that by nature is high risk and high gain. So Nebel founded Tibbar Plasma Technologies to design plasma
technologies for commercial applications.
Working with other like-minded individuals, Nebel has developed plasma-based AC-DC electrical transformers. These transformers can reduce costs associated with transmitting electrical power by 10 times. This technology also enables the transmission of electricity over great distances—as far as 1,200 miles, compared to current technologies, which transmit at a maximum 400 miles.
To validate the efficacy of this technology, Nebel requested technical assistance through NMSBA from senior scientist Juan Fernandez, team leader for experiments in Relativistic Laser Plasmas at Los Alamos. Fernandez evaluated the concept and design for the AC-DC single-phase transformer. Part of this evaluation consisted of reviewing the methodology for executing the experimental protocol to measure
The company used the evaluation to compete for several grants. In 2015, Tibbar received a $3.5 million contract from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy. Tibbar has hired 10 new people as of April 2016, and completed machine development for manufacturing these advanced
transformers. The company has also secured a building which they are remodeling so that they can manufacture prototypes. According to research and consulting firm GlobalData, the market for this type of technology is estimated to be $89.6 billion by 2020.