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Title: Kinetic simulations of sheared flow stabilization in high-temperature Z-pinch plasmas

Abstract

We present that the first fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of sheared flow stabilized Z-pinch plasmas show the suppression of the sausage instability by shear, ∂ rv z ≠ 0, with flow Mach numbers ≲1, consistent with experimental observations. Experimental investigations of sheared-flow stabilized Z-pinches demonstrated stability for 10 s of microseconds, over 1000 Alfvén radial transit times, in quasi steady-state plasmas that are an intermediate between conventional inertial and magnetic confinement systems. The observed stability coincides with the presence of radial shear in axial flow profiles with peak speeds less than Mach 1, and experiments are underway to validate scaling this design to fusion conditions. The experimentally observed stability agrees with models of m = 1 kink mode suppression by sheared flows, but existing models of the m = 0 sausage mode underestimate the efficacy of sheared flow stabilization. These models rely on fluid approximations and find that stabilization requires flows ranging from Mach 1.7 to 4.3, and in some cases, stabilization is not reproduced in the models. This is faster than the measured flows in long-lived plasmas and would necessitate substantial energy convection out of the Z-pinch and the need to drive and sustain supersonic flows in futuremore » devices. The MHD models typically used in the literature are invalid in the high-temperature, high-current environments desirable for many Z-pinch applications, and they ignore large Larmor radius effects and viscous dissipation which are known to impact Z-pinch stability. PIC simulations can capture all these effects as well as kinetic instabilities that could influence the performance of high-temperature sheared flow stabilized Z-pinch plasmas. The PIC simulations presented here show the suppression and damping of m = 0 modes by sheared flows ∂ rv z = 0.75v A/r 0 with flow Mach numbers ≲1. Lastlyl, equivalent stability occurs under plasma conditions ranging from the limits of present-day experimental capabilities to the projected conditions of a sheared flow stabilized Z-pinch reactor.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [2];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Voss Scientific, LLC, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1544963
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1526092
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-767536
Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X; 957144
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344; AR0000571
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Tummel, K., Higginson, D. P., Link, A. J., Schmidt, A. E. W., Offermann, D. T., Welch, D. R., Clark, R. E., Shumlak, U., Nelson, B. A., Golingo, R. P., and McLean, H. S. Kinetic simulations of sheared flow stabilization in high-temperature Z-pinch plasmas. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5092241.
Tummel, K., Higginson, D. P., Link, A. J., Schmidt, A. E. W., Offermann, D. T., Welch, D. R., Clark, R. E., Shumlak, U., Nelson, B. A., Golingo, R. P., & McLean, H. S. Kinetic simulations of sheared flow stabilization in high-temperature Z-pinch plasmas. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5092241.
Tummel, K., Higginson, D. P., Link, A. J., Schmidt, A. E. W., Offermann, D. T., Welch, D. R., Clark, R. E., Shumlak, U., Nelson, B. A., Golingo, R. P., and McLean, H. S. Thu . "Kinetic simulations of sheared flow stabilization in high-temperature Z-pinch plasmas". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5092241.
@article{osti_1544963,
title = {Kinetic simulations of sheared flow stabilization in high-temperature Z-pinch plasmas},
author = {Tummel, K. and Higginson, D. P. and Link, A. J. and Schmidt, A. E. W. and Offermann, D. T. and Welch, D. R. and Clark, R. E. and Shumlak, U. and Nelson, B. A. and Golingo, R. P. and McLean, H. S.},
abstractNote = {We present that the first fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of sheared flow stabilized Z-pinch plasmas show the suppression of the sausage instability by shear, ∂rvz ≠ 0, with flow Mach numbers ≲1, consistent with experimental observations. Experimental investigations of sheared-flow stabilized Z-pinches demonstrated stability for 10 s of microseconds, over 1000 Alfvén radial transit times, in quasi steady-state plasmas that are an intermediate between conventional inertial and magnetic confinement systems. The observed stability coincides with the presence of radial shear in axial flow profiles with peak speeds less than Mach 1, and experiments are underway to validate scaling this design to fusion conditions. The experimentally observed stability agrees with models of m = 1 kink mode suppression by sheared flows, but existing models of the m = 0 sausage mode underestimate the efficacy of sheared flow stabilization. These models rely on fluid approximations and find that stabilization requires flows ranging from Mach 1.7 to 4.3, and in some cases, stabilization is not reproduced in the models. This is faster than the measured flows in long-lived plasmas and would necessitate substantial energy convection out of the Z-pinch and the need to drive and sustain supersonic flows in future devices. The MHD models typically used in the literature are invalid in the high-temperature, high-current environments desirable for many Z-pinch applications, and they ignore large Larmor radius effects and viscous dissipation which are known to impact Z-pinch stability. PIC simulations can capture all these effects as well as kinetic instabilities that could influence the performance of high-temperature sheared flow stabilized Z-pinch plasmas. The PIC simulations presented here show the suppression and damping of m = 0 modes by sheared flows ∂rvz = 0.75vA/r0 with flow Mach numbers ≲1. Lastlyl, equivalent stability occurs under plasma conditions ranging from the limits of present-day experimental capabilities to the projected conditions of a sheared flow stabilized Z-pinch reactor.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5092241},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 6,
volume = 26,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {6}
}

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