Title: A thermodynamical analysis of rf current drive with fast electrons

The problem of rf current drive (CD) by pushing fast electrons with high-parallel-phase-velocity waves, such as lower-hybrid (LH) or electron-cyclotron (EC) waves, is revisited using the first and second laws, the former to retrieve the well-known one-dimensional (1D) steady-state CD efficiency, and the latter to calculate a lower bound for the rate of entropy production when approaching steady state. The laws of thermodynamics are written in a form that explicitly takes care of frictional dissipation and are thus applied to a population of fast electrons evolving under the influence of a dc electric field, rf waves, and collisions while in contact with a thermal, Maxwellian reservoir with a well-defined temperature. Besides the laws of macroscopic thermodynamics, there is recourse to basic elements of kinetic theory only, being assumed a residual dc electric field and a strong rf drive, capable of sustaining in the resonant region, where waves interact with electrons, a raised fast-electron tail distribution, which becomes an essentially flat plateau in the case of the 1D theory for LHCD. Within the 1D model, particularly suited for LHCD as it solely retains fast-electron dynamics in velocity space parallel to the ambient magnetic field, an H theorem for rf CD ismore » also derived, which is written in different forms, and additional physics is recovered, such as the synergy between the dc and rf power sources, including the rf-induced hot conductivity, as well as the equation for electron-bulk heating. As much as possible 1D results are extended to 2D, to account for ECCD by also considering fast-electron velocity-space dynamics in the direction perpendicular to the magnetic field, which leads to a detailed discussion on how the definition of an rf-induced conductivity may depend on whether one works at constant rf current or power. Moreover, working out the collisional dissipated power and entropy-production rate written in terms of the fast-electron distribution, it is shown that the well-known formula for the steady-state CD efficiency, usually obtained from the first law in the form of power balance between the external sources and collisional losses, emerges as a lower bound for that CD figure of merit, in what can be interpreted as an instance of the second law.« less

Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 1049-001 Lisboa (Portugal)

Publication Date:

OSTI Identifier:

22490059

Resource Type:

Journal Article

Resource Relation:

Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 8; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Country of Publication:

United States

Language:

English

Subject:

70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; COLLISIONS; ECR CURRENT DRIVE; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRONS; EQUATIONS; H THEOREM; LOWER HYBRID CURRENT DRIVE; LOWER HYBRID HEATING; MAGNETIC FIELDS; ONE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; PERFORMANCE; PHASE VELOCITY; RF SYSTEMS; THERMODYNAMICS