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Title: Transport and Dynamics in Toroidal Fusion Systems

Abstract

The study entitled, "Transport and Dynamics in Toroidal Fusion Systems," (TDTFS) applied analytical theory and numerical computation to investigate topics of importance to confining plasma, the fourth state of matter, with magnetic fields. A central focus of the work is how non-thermal components of the ion particle distribution affect the "sawtooth" collective oscillation in the core of the tokamak magnetic configuration. Previous experimental and analytical research had shown and described how the oscillation frequency decreases and amplitude increases, leading to "monster" or "giant" sawteeth, when the non-thermal component is increased by injecting particle beams or by exciting ions with imposed electromagnetic waves. The TDTFS study applied numerical computation to self-consistently simulate the interaction between macroscopic collective plasma dynamics and the non-thermal particles. The modeling used the NIMROD code [Sovinec, Glasser, Gianakon, et al., J. Comput. Phys. 195, 355 (2004)] with the energetic component represented by simulation particles [Kim, Parker, Sovinec, and the NIMROD Team, Comput. Phys. Commun. 164, 448 (2004)]. The computations found decreasing growth rates for the instability that drives the oscillations, but they were ultimately limited from achieving experimentally relevant parameters due to computational practicalities. Nonetheless, this effort provided valuable lessons for integrated simulation of macroscopic plasma dynamics.more » It also motivated an investigation of the applicability of fluid-based modeling to the ion temperature gradient instability, leading to the journal publication [Schnack, Cheng, Barnes, and Parker, Phys. Plasmas 20, 062106 (2013)]. Apart from the tokamak-specific topics, the TDTFS study also addressed topics in the basic physics of magnetized plasma and in the dynamics of the reversed-field pinch (RFP) configuration. The basic physics work contributed to a study of two-fluid effects on interchange dynamics, where "two-fluid" refers to modeling independent dynamics of electron and ion species without full kinetic effects. In collaboration with scientist Ping Zhu, who received separate support, it was found that the rule-of-thumb criteria on stabilizing interchange has caveats that depend on the plasma density and temperature profiles. This work was published in [Zhu, Schnack, Ebrahimi, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 085005 (2008)]. An investigation of general nonlinear relaxation with fluid models was partially supported by the TDTFS study and led to the publication [Khalzov, Ebrahimi, Schnack, and Mirnov, Phys. Plasmas 19, 012111 (2012)]. Work specific to the RFP included an investigation of interchange at large plasma pressure and support for applications [for example, Scheffel, Schnack, and Mirza, Nucl. Fusion 53, 113007 (2013)] of the DEBS code [Schnack, Barnes, Mikic, Harned, and Caramana, J. Comput. Phys. 70, 330 (1987)]. Finally, the principal investigator over most of the award period, Dalton Schnack, supervised a numerical study of modeling magnetic island suppression [Jenkins, Kruger, Hegna, Schnack, and Sovinec, Phys. Plasmas 17, 12502 (2010)].« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
OSTI Identifier:
1320655
Report Number(s):
DOE/ER/54868
TRN: US1700264
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-06ER54868
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; MAGNETIC CONFINEMENT; SAWTOOTH OSCILLATIONS; PLASMA DENSITY; PLASMA PRESSURE; PLASMA INSTABILITY; TOKAMAK DEVICES; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; CALCULATION METHODS; ION TEMPERATURE; TRANSPORT; MAGNETIC ISLANDS; NUMERICAL ANALYSIS; REVERSE-FIELD PINCH; MAGNETIC FIELDS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; TEMPERATURE GRADIENTS; AMPLITUDES; DISTRIBUTION; INHIBITION; INTERACTIONS; RELAXATION; DYNAMICS; INSTABILITY GROWTH RATES; STABILIZATION; magnetohydrodynamics; plasma simulation; tokamak

Citation Formats

Sovinec, Carl. Transport and Dynamics in Toroidal Fusion Systems. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1320655.
Sovinec, Carl. Transport and Dynamics in Toroidal Fusion Systems. United States. doi:10.2172/1320655.
Sovinec, Carl. 2016. "Transport and Dynamics in Toroidal Fusion Systems". United States. doi:10.2172/1320655. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1320655.
@article{osti_1320655,
title = {Transport and Dynamics in Toroidal Fusion Systems},
author = {Sovinec, Carl},
abstractNote = {The study entitled, "Transport and Dynamics in Toroidal Fusion Systems," (TDTFS) applied analytical theory and numerical computation to investigate topics of importance to confining plasma, the fourth state of matter, with magnetic fields. A central focus of the work is how non-thermal components of the ion particle distribution affect the "sawtooth" collective oscillation in the core of the tokamak magnetic configuration. Previous experimental and analytical research had shown and described how the oscillation frequency decreases and amplitude increases, leading to "monster" or "giant" sawteeth, when the non-thermal component is increased by injecting particle beams or by exciting ions with imposed electromagnetic waves. The TDTFS study applied numerical computation to self-consistently simulate the interaction between macroscopic collective plasma dynamics and the non-thermal particles. The modeling used the NIMROD code [Sovinec, Glasser, Gianakon, et al., J. Comput. Phys. 195, 355 (2004)] with the energetic component represented by simulation particles [Kim, Parker, Sovinec, and the NIMROD Team, Comput. Phys. Commun. 164, 448 (2004)]. The computations found decreasing growth rates for the instability that drives the oscillations, but they were ultimately limited from achieving experimentally relevant parameters due to computational practicalities. Nonetheless, this effort provided valuable lessons for integrated simulation of macroscopic plasma dynamics. It also motivated an investigation of the applicability of fluid-based modeling to the ion temperature gradient instability, leading to the journal publication [Schnack, Cheng, Barnes, and Parker, Phys. Plasmas 20, 062106 (2013)]. Apart from the tokamak-specific topics, the TDTFS study also addressed topics in the basic physics of magnetized plasma and in the dynamics of the reversed-field pinch (RFP) configuration. The basic physics work contributed to a study of two-fluid effects on interchange dynamics, where "two-fluid" refers to modeling independent dynamics of electron and ion species without full kinetic effects. In collaboration with scientist Ping Zhu, who received separate support, it was found that the rule-of-thumb criteria on stabilizing interchange has caveats that depend on the plasma density and temperature profiles. This work was published in [Zhu, Schnack, Ebrahimi, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 085005 (2008)]. An investigation of general nonlinear relaxation with fluid models was partially supported by the TDTFS study and led to the publication [Khalzov, Ebrahimi, Schnack, and Mirnov, Phys. Plasmas 19, 012111 (2012)]. Work specific to the RFP included an investigation of interchange at large plasma pressure and support for applications [for example, Scheffel, Schnack, and Mirza, Nucl. Fusion 53, 113007 (2013)] of the DEBS code [Schnack, Barnes, Mikic, Harned, and Caramana, J. Comput. Phys. 70, 330 (1987)]. Finally, the principal investigator over most of the award period, Dalton Schnack, supervised a numerical study of modeling magnetic island suppression [Jenkins, Kruger, Hegna, Schnack, and Sovinec, Phys. Plasmas 17, 12502 (2010)].},
doi = {10.2172/1320655},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

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  • This document is organized as follows. Discussions are presented on the properties of structured and unstructured meshes, and the data structures useful for describing them. Issues related to the triangulation of an arbitrary set of points in a plane are also discussed. A derivation is made of a finite volume approximation to the resistive MHD equations suitable for use on an unstructured, triangular mesh in toroidal geometry. Boundary conditions are discussed. The specific MHD model, and its implementation on the unstructured mesh, is discussed. A discussion is presented of methods of time integration, and descriptions are given for implementation ofmore » semi-implicit and fully implicit algorithms. Examples of the application of the method are given. Included are standard, two- dimensional hydrodynamic and MHD shock problems, as well as applications of the method to the equilibrium and stability of toroidal fusion plasmas in two and three dimensions. The initial results with mesh adaptation are also described.« less
  • This document reports the successful completion of the OFES Theory Milestone for FY2005, namely, Perform parametric studies to better understand the edge physics regimes of laboratory experiments. Simulate at increased resolution (up to 20 toroidal modes), with density evolution, late into the nonlinear phase and compare results from different types of edge modes. Simulate a single case including a study of heat deposition on nearby material walls. The linear stability properties and nonlinear evolution of Edge Localized Modes (ELMs) in tokamak plasmas are investigated through numerical computation. Data from the DIII-D device at General Atomics (http://fusion.gat.com/diii-d/) is used for themore » magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equilibria, but edge parameters are varied to reveal important physical effects. The equilibrium with very low magnetic shear produces an unstable spectrum that is somewhat insensitive to dissipation coefficient values. Here, linear growth rates from the non-ideal NIMROD code (http://nimrodteam.org) agree reasonably well with ideal, i.e. non-dissipative, results from the GATO global linear stability code at low toroidal mode number (n) and with ideal results from the ELITE edge linear stability code at moderate to high toroidal mode number. Linear studies with a more realistic sequence of MHD equilibria (based on DIII-D discharge 86166) produce more significant discrepancies between the ideal and non-ideal calculations. The maximum growth rate for the ideal computations occurs at toroidal mode index n=10, whereas growth rates in the non-ideal computations continue to increase with n unless strong anisotropic thermal conduction is included. Recent modeling advances allow drift effects associated with the Hall electric field and gyroviscosity to be considered. A stabilizing effect can be observed in the preliminary results, but while the distortion in mode structure is readily apparent at n=40, the growth rate is only 13% less than the non-ideal MHD result. Computations performed with a non-local kinetic closure for parallel electron thermal conduction that is valid over all collisionality regimes identify thermal diffusivity ratios of {chi}{sub ||}/{chi}{sub {perpendicular}} ~ 10{sup 7} - 10{sup 8} as appropriate when using collisional heat flux modeling for these modes. Adding significant parallel viscosity proves to have little effect. Nonlinear ELM computations solve the resistive MHD model with toroidal resolution 0{<=}n{<=}21, including anisotropic thermal conduction, temperature-dependent resistivity, and number density evolution. The computations are based on a realistic equilibrium with high pedestal temperature from the linear study. When the simulated ELM grows to appreciable amplitude, ribbon-like thermal structures extend from the separatrix to the wall as the spectrum broadens about a peak at n=13. Analysis of the results finds the heat flux on the wall to be very nonuniform with greatest intensity occurring in spots on the top and bottom of the chamber. Net thermal energy loss occurs on a time-scale of 100 {micro}s, and the instantaneous loss rate exceeds 1 GW.« less
  • In this document the author describes an extension of the spatial gridding techniques to an MHD model suitable for the description of the dynamics of toroidal fusion devices. Since the dominant MHD modes in these devices have relatively long toroidal wavelength, the toroidal coordinate is approximated with finite Fourier series. The unstructured, triangular mesh is used to describe the details of the poloidal geometry. With some exceptions, the hydrodynamic variables are treated in a manner analogous to that used in CFD. These quantities (mass, energy, and momentum) are volume based densities that satisfy scalar or vector conservation laws. The electromagneticmore » variables (the magnetic flux density B and the electric current density J) are area based densities that satisfy pseudo-vector conservation laws, and have no counterpart in fluid dynamics. These variables are also constrained to remain solenoidal. These quantities are represented on the triangular mesh in a new manner that is an extension of that used on rectangular, structured meshes. In this work the author has chosen to solve the primitive MHD equations in order to make the resulting codes and techniques more generally applicable to problems beyond the narrow scope of tokamak plasmas. The temporal stiffness problems inherent in this description of tokamak dynamics that motivate the reduced MHD model are addressed here with the semi-implicit method of time integration. Finally, the author remarks that, while the present work deals strictly with the MHD equations, other volume based fluid descriptions, such as diffusive transport could easily be adapted to these techniques and coupled with the description of the electromagnetic field presented here.« less