Initial Exploration of High-Field Pulsed Stellarator Approach to Ignition Experiments

V. Queral, F. A. Volpe, D. Spong, S. Cabrera, F. Tabarés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the framework of fusion energy research based on magnetic confinement, pulsed high-field tokamaks such as Alcator and FTU have made significant scientific contributions, while several others have been designed to reach ignition, but not built yet (IGNITOR, FIRE). Equivalent stellarator concepts, however, have barely been explored. The present study aims at filling this gap by: (1) performing an initial exploration of parameters relevant to ignition and of the difficulties for a high-field stellarator approach, and, (2) proposing a preliminary high-field stellarator concept for physics studies of burning plasmas and, possibly, ignition. To minimize costs, the device is pulsed, adopts resistive coils and has no blankets. Scaling laws are used to estimate the minimum field needed for ignition, fusion power and other plasma parameters. Analytical expressions and finite-element calculations are used to estimate approximate heat loads on the divertors, coil power consumption, and mechanical stresses as functions of the plasma volume, under wide-ranging parameters. Based on these studies, and on assumptions on the enhancement-factor of the energy confinement time and the achievable plasma beta, it is estimated that a stellarator of magnetic field B ~ 10 T and 30 m3 plasma volume could approach or reach ignition, without encountering unsurmountable thermal or mechanical difficulties. The preliminary conceptual device is characterised by massive copper coils of variable cross-section, detachable periods, and a lithium wall and divertor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-290
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Fusion Energy
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements The authors are grateful to M.I. Mikhailov, J. Nührenberg et al. [30] for supplying the QIP3 magnetic configuration, to A. Werner, J. Baldzuhn and J. Geiger for providing the coil definition of HSR3, and to E. Blanco and K.J. McCarthy for proof reading. The first author acknowledges J.A. Romero and J.A. Ferreira for longstanding discussions about fusion and stellarators. The work is partially funded by the Spanish ‘Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness’ under the grant number ENE2015-64981-R (MINECO / FEDER, EU). This work is partly supported by the US Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with UT-Battelle, LLC and the US DOE.

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to M.I. Mikhailov, J. N?hrenberg et al. [30] for supplying the QIP3 magnetic configuration, to A. Werner, J. Baldzuhn and J. Geiger for providing the coil definition of HSR3, and to E. Blanco and K.J. McCarthy for proof reading. The first author acknowledges J.A. Romero and J.A. Ferreira for longstanding discussions about fusion and stellarators. The work is partially funded by the Spanish ?Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness? under the grant number ENE2015-64981-R (MINECO?/?FEDER,?EU). This work is partly supported by the US Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with UT-Battelle, LLC and the US DOE.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Ignition parameters
  • Monolithic support
  • Resistive magnets
  • Stellarator

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