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Title: Electron inertial effects on rotating magnetic field current drive

Abstract

The effect of finite electron mass on the formation and sustainment of a field reversed configuration (FRC) by rotating magnetic fields (RMF) is studied. The importance of inertial effects is measured by the ratio between the RMF frequency ({omega}) and the electron-ion collision frequency ({nu}). In the limit where this ratio is very small ({omega}/{nu}{yields}0), previous results corresponding to massless electrons are recovered. When {omega}/{nu} increases there are significant changes in the value of the minimum external rotating field needed to sustain the FRC and the time required to reach a steady state. Since {nu} decreases with increasing temperature and decreasing density, these effects are expected to become more important as fusion relevant temperatures are approached.

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. Centro Atomico Bariloche (CNEA) and Instituto Balseiro - UNC-CNEA, 8400 S. C. de Bariloche, RN (Argentina)
  2. (Brazil)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20782558
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 13; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2185608; (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; CHARGED-PARTICLE TRANSPORT; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; ELECTRON-ION COLLISIONS; ELECTRONS; FIELD-REVERSED THETA PINCH DEVICES; ION TEMPERATURE; MAGNETIC FIELDS; PLASMA; PLASMA DENSITY; REVERSE-FIELD PINCH; REVERSED-FIELD PINCH DEVICES; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS

Citation Formats

Ferrari, Hugo E., Farengo, Ricardo, Clemente, Roberto A., and Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Fisica Gleb Wataghin 13083-970 Campinas, SP. Electron inertial effects on rotating magnetic field current drive. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2185608.
Ferrari, Hugo E., Farengo, Ricardo, Clemente, Roberto A., & Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Fisica Gleb Wataghin 13083-970 Campinas, SP. Electron inertial effects on rotating magnetic field current drive. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2185608.
Ferrari, Hugo E., Farengo, Ricardo, Clemente, Roberto A., and Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Fisica Gleb Wataghin 13083-970 Campinas, SP. Wed . "Electron inertial effects on rotating magnetic field current drive". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2185608.
@article{osti_20782558,
title = {Electron inertial effects on rotating magnetic field current drive},
author = {Ferrari, Hugo E. and Farengo, Ricardo and Clemente, Roberto A. and Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Fisica Gleb Wataghin 13083-970 Campinas, SP},
abstractNote = {The effect of finite electron mass on the formation and sustainment of a field reversed configuration (FRC) by rotating magnetic fields (RMF) is studied. The importance of inertial effects is measured by the ratio between the RMF frequency ({omega}) and the electron-ion collision frequency ({nu}). In the limit where this ratio is very small ({omega}/{nu}{yields}0), previous results corresponding to massless electrons are recovered. When {omega}/{nu} increases there are significant changes in the value of the minimum external rotating field needed to sustain the FRC and the time required to reach a steady state. Since {nu} decreases with increasing temperature and decreasing density, these effects are expected to become more important as fusion relevant temperatures are approached.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2185608},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 3,
volume = 13,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 15 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Wed Mar 15 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}
  • Steady state solutions, suitable for field-reversed configurations (FRCs) sustained by rotating magnetic fields (RMFs) are obtained by properly including three-dimensional effects, in the limit of large FRC elongation, and the radial component of Ohm's law. The steady electrostatic potential, necessary to satisfy Ohm's law, is considered to be a surface function. The problem is analyzed at the midplane of the configuration and it is reduced to the solution of two coupled nonlinear differential equations for the real and imaginary parts of the phasor associated to the longitudinal component of the vector potential. Additional constraints are obtained by requesting that themore » steady radial current density and poloidal magnetic flux vanish at the plasma boundary which is set at the time-averaged separatrix. The results are presented in terms of the degree of synchronism of the electrons with the RMF and compared with those obtained when radial current effects are neglected. Three important differences are observed when compared with the case without radial current density. First, at low penetration of the RMF into the plasma there is a significant increase in the driven azimuthal current. Second, the RMF amplitude necessary to access the high synchronism regime, starting from low synchronism, is larger and the difference appears to increase as the separatrix to classical skin depth ratio increases. Third, the minimum RMF amplitude necessary to sustain almost full synchronism is reduced.« less
  • A new experimental device has been constructed to study the flux build-up and sustainment of a field reversed configuration (FRC) with a rotating magnetic field (RMF). Even though complete penetration was expected from RMF theory, the RMF field was observed to penetrate only a few centimeters inside the FRC separatrix. Despite the limited penetration, significantly larger toroidal currents (40 kA) were driven than in previous experiments ({approx}2 kA) with the same RMF field. The high currents and lack of deep penetration allowed the axial field to be the dominant field throughout the FRC. The radially inward pondermotive force arising frommore » axial screening currents at the FRC edge had a significant influence on energy and particle confinement, reducing convective losses to the limit of observability. With only ohmic heating, the measured low ion temperatures (2 eV) left the ions unmagnetized while the electrons ({approx}40 eV) were well magnetized. No destructive instability was observed for the RMF driven FRC despite the lack of a strong kinetic ion component. (c) 2000 American Institute of Physics.« less
  • A new experiment has been constructed to study the sustainment of a field-reversed configuration (FRC) with a rotating magnetic field (RMF). FRCs were formed with cold, unmagnetized ions and thus without a kinetic ion component that was believed to provide stability to internal tilt modes. No destructive instabilities were observed for the RMF FRC. Only peripheral radial penetration of the RMF was observed. The radially inward flow arising from axial screening currents at the FRC edge reduced convective and conductive losses to the measurement limit of the diagnostics. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society.
  • After extensive experimentation on the Translation, Confinement, and Sustainment rotating magnetic-field (RMF)-driven field reversed configuration (FRC) device [A. L. Hoffman et al., Fusion Sci. Technol. 41, 92 (2002)], the principal physics of RMF formation and sustainment of standard prolate FRCs inside a flux conserver is reasonably well understood. If the RMF magnitude B{sub {omega}} at a given frequency {omega} is high enough compared to other experimental parameters, it will drive the outer electrons of a plasma column into near synchronous rotation, allowing the RMF to penetrate into the plasma. If the resultant azimuthal current is strong enough to reverse anmore » initial axial bias field B{sub o} a FRC will be formed. A balance between the RMF applied torque and electron-ion friction will determine the peak plasma density n{sub m}{proportional_to}B{sub {omega}}/{eta}{sup 1/2}{omega}{sup 1/2}r{sub s}, where r{sub s} is the FRC separatrix radius and {eta} is an effective weighted plasma resistivity. The plasma total temperature T{sub t} is free to be any value allowed by power balance as long as the ratio of FRC diamagnetic current, I{sup '}{sub dia}{approx_equal}2B{sub e}/{mu}{sub o}, is less than the maximum possible synchronous current, I{sup '}{sub sync}=<n{sub e}>e{omega}r{sub s}{sup 2}/2. The RMF will self-consistently penetrate a distance {delta}{sup *} governed by the ratio {zeta}=I{sup '}{sub dia}/I{sup '}{sub sync}. Since the FRC is a diamagnetic entity, its peak pressure p{sub m}=n{sub m}kT{sub t} determines its external magnetic field B{sub e}{approx_equal}(2{mu}{sub o}p{sub m}){sup 1/2}. Higher FRC currents, magnetic fields, and poloidal fluxes can thus be obtained, with the same RMF parameters, simply by raising the plasma temperature. Higher temperatures have also been noted to reduce the effective plasma resistivity, so that these higher currents can be supported with surprisingly little increase in absorbed RMF power.« less
  • Greatly reduced recycling and impurity ingestion in the Translation, Confinement, and Sustainment--Upgrade (TCSU) device has allowed much higher plasma temperatures to be achieved in the field reversed configurations (FRC) under rotating magnetic field (RMF) formation and sustainment. The hotter plasmas have higher magnetic fields and much higher diamagnetic electron rotation rates so that the important ratio of average electron rotation frequency to RMF frequency, called {zeta}, approaches unity, for the first time, in TCSU. A large fraction of the RMF power is absorbed by an as yet unexplained (anomalous) mechanism directly proportional to the square of the RMF magnitude. Itmore » becomes of relatively lesser significance as the FRC current increases, and simple resistive heating begins to dominate, but the anomalous absorption is useful for initial plasma heating. Measurements of total absorbed power, and comparisons of applied RMF torque to torque on the electrons due to electron-ion friction under high-{zeta} operation, over a range of temperatures and fields, have allowed the separation of the classical Ohmic and anomalous heating to be inferred, and cross-field plasma resistivities to be calculated.« less