Experiments and predictions of surface wave damping in liquid metal due to a surface aligned magnetic field and externally regulated j × B force are presented. Fast-flowing, liquid-metal plasma facing components (LM-PFCs) are a proposed alternative to solid PFCs that are unable to handle the high heat flux, thermal stresses, and radiation damage in a tokamak. The significant technical challenges associated with LM-PFCs compared to solid PFCs are justified by greater heat flux management, self-healing properties, and reduced particle recycling. However, undesirable engineering challenges such as evaporation and splashing of the liquid metal introduce excessive impurities into the plasma and degrade plasma performance. Evaporation may be avoided through high-speed flow that limits temperature rise of the liquid metal by reducing heat flux exposure time, but as flow speed increases the surface may become more turbulent and prone to splashing and uneven surfaces. Wave damping is one mechanism that reduces surface disturbance and thus the chances of liquid metal impurity introduction into the plasma. Experiments on the Liquid Metal eXperiment Upgrade (LMX-U) examined damping under the influence of transverse magnetic fields and vertically directed Lorentz force.
An optimization approach that incorporates the predictive transport code TRANSP is proposed for tokamak scenario development. Optimization methods are often employed to develop open-loop control strategies to aid access to high performance tokamak scenarios. In general, the optimization approaches use control-oriented models, i.e. models that are reduced in complexity and prediction accuracy as compared to physics-oriented transport codes such as TRANSP. In the presented approach, an optimization procedure using the TRANSP code to simulate the tokamak plasma is considered for improved predictive capabilities. As a test case, the neutral beam injection (NBI) power is optimized to develop a control strategy that maximizes the non-inductive current fraction during the ramp-up phase for NSTX-U. Simulation studies towards the achievement of non-inductive ramp up in NSTX-U have already been carried out with the TRANSP code. The optimization-based approach proposed in this work is used to maximize the non-inductive current fraction during ramp-up in NSTX-U, demonstrating that the scenario development task can be automated. An additional test case considers optimization of the current ramp rate in DIII-D for obtaining a stationary plasma characterized by
a flat loop voltage profile in the flattop phase.
Active control of the toroidal current density profile is critical for the upgraded National Spherical Torus eXperiment device (NSTX-U) to maintain operation at the desired high-performance, MHD-stable, plasma regime. Initial efforts towards current density profile control have led to the development of a control-oriented, physics-based, plasma-response model, which combines the magnetic diffusion equation with empirical correlations for the kinetic profiles and the non-inductive current sources. The developed control-oriented model has been successfully tailored to the NSTX-U geometry and actuators. Moreover, a series of efforts have been made towards the design of model-based controllers, including a linear-quadratic-integral optimal control strategy that can regulate the current density profile around a prescribed target profile while rejecting disturbances. In this work, the tracking performance of the proposed current-profile optimal controller is tested in numerical simulations based on the physics-oriented code TRANSP. These high-fidelity closed-loop simulations, which are a critical step before experimental implementation and testing, are enabled by a flexible framework recently
developed to perform feedback control design and simulation in TRANSP.
Hvasta, M. G.; Dudt, D.; Fisher, A. E.; Kolemen, E.
A 'weighted magnetic bearing' has been developed to improve the performance of
rotating Lorentz-force flowmeters (RLFFs). Experiments have shown that the new bearing
reduces frictional losses within a double-sided, disc-style RLFF to negligible levels.
Operating such an RLFF under 'frictionless' conditions provides two major benefits.
First, the steady-state velocity of the RLFF magnets matches the average velocity of the
flowing liquid at low flow rates. This enables an RLFF to make accurate volumetric flow
measurements without any calibration or prior knowledge of the fluid properties. Second,
due to minimized frictional losses, an RLFF is able to measure low flow rates that cannot
be detected when conventional, high-friction bearings are used. This paper provides a
brief background on RLFFs, gives a detailed description of weighted magnetic bearings,
and compares experimental RLFF data to measurements taken with a commercially available
Geochemical and geomechanical perturbations of the subsurface caused by the injection of fluids present the risk of leakage and seismicity. This study investigated how flow of acidic fluids affects hydraulic and frictional properties of fractures using experiments with 3.8 cm-long specimens of Eagle Ford shale, a laminated shale with carbonate-rich strata. In low-pressure flow cells, one set of samples was exposed to an acidic brine and another set was exposed to a neutral brine. X-ray computed tomography and x-ray fluorescence analysis revealed that samples exposed to the acidic brine were calcite-depleted and had developed a porous altered layer, while the other set showed little evidence of alteration. After reaction, samples were compacted and sheared in a triaxial cell that supplied normal stress and differential pore pressure at prescribed sliding velocities, independently measuring friction and permeability. During the initial compaction, the porous altered layer collapsed into fine particles that filled the fracture aperture. This effectively impeded flow and sealed the fracture, resulting in a decrease in fracture permeability by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude relative to the compressed unaltered fractures. During shear, the collapsed layer of fine-grained particles prevented the formation of interlocking micro-asperities resulting in lower frictional strength. With regard to subsurface risks, this study showcases how coupled geochemical and geomechanical processes could favorably seal fractures to inhibit leakage, but also could increase the likelihood of induced seismicity. These findings have important implications for geological carbon sequestration, pressurized fluid energy storage, geothermal energy, and other subsurface technologies.
Plasma-facing components (PFC's) made from solid materials may not be able to withstand the large heat and particle fluxes that will be produced within next-generation fusion reactors. To address the shortcomings of solid PFC's, a variety of liquid-metal (LM) PFC concepts have been proposed. Many of the suggested LM-PFC designs rely on electromagnetic restraint (Lorentz force) to keep free-surface, liquid-metal flows adhered to the interior surfaces of a fusion reactor. However, there is very little, if any, experimental data demonstrating that free-surface, LM-PFC's can actually be electromagnetically controlled. Therefore, in this study, electrical currents were injected into a free-surface liquid-metal that was flowing through a uniform magnetic field. The resultant Lorentz force generated within the liquid-metal affected the velocity and depth of the flow in a controllable manner that closely matched theoretical predictions. These results show the promise of electromagnetic control for LM-PFC's and suggest that electromagnetic control could be further developed to adjust liquid-metal nozzle output, prevent splashing within a tokamak, and alter heat transfer properties for a wide-range of liquid-metal systems.
Schwartz, J. A.; Emdee, E. D.; Jaworski, M. A; Goldston, R. J.
The lithium vapor box divertor is a concept for handling the extreme divertor heat fluxes in magnetic fusion devices. In a baffled slot divertor, plasma interacts with a dense cloud of Li vapor which radiates and cools the plasma, leading to recombination and detachment. Before testing on a tokamak the concept should be validated: we plan to study detachment and heat redistribution by a Li vapor cloud in laboratory experiments.
Mass changes and temperatures are measured to validate a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo model of neutral Li.
The initial experiment involves a 5 cm diameter steel box containing 10g of Li held at 650 degrees C as vapor flows out a wide nozzle into a similarly-sized box at a lower temperature. Diagnosis is made challenging by the required material compatibility with lithium vapor. Vapor pressure is a steep function of temperature, so to validate mass flow models to within 10%, absolute temperature to within 4.5K is required. The apparatus is designed to be used with an analytical balance to determine mass transport. Details of the apparatus and methods of temperature and mass flow measurements are presented.
An electron beam is detected by a 1D floating potential probe array in a relatively high density (10e12 − 10e13 cm−3) and low temperature (∼ 5 eV) plasma of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX). Clear perturbations in the floating potential profile by the electron beam are observed. Based on the floating potential profile and a current balance equation to the probe array tips, the effective width of the electron beam is determined, from which we determine the radial and toroidal beam current density profiles. After the profile of the electron beam is specified from the measured beam current, we demonstrate the consistency of the current balance equation and the location of the perturbation is also in agreement with field line mapping. No significant broadening of the electron beam is observed after the beam propagates for tens of centimeters through the high density plasma. These results prove that the field line mapping is, in principle, possible in high density plasmas.
The injection of impurity granules into fusion research discharges can serve
as a catalyst for ELM events. For sufficiently low ELM frequencies, and granule
sizes above a threshold, this can result in full control of the ELM cycle,
referred to as ELM pacing. For this research, we extend the investigation
to conditions where the natural ELM frequency is too high for ELM pacing to
be realized. Utilizing multiple sizes of lithium granules and classifying their
effects by granule size, we demonstrate that ELM mitigation through frequency
multiplication can be used at ELM triggering rates that nominally make ELM pacing
unrealizable. We find that above a size threshold, injected granules promptly
trigger ELMs and commensurately enhance the ELM frequency . Below this threshold
size, injection of an individual granule does not always lead to the prompt
triggering of an ELM; however, collective ablation in the edge pedestal region
does enhance the ELM frequency. Specifically, Li granules too small to individually
trigger ELMs were injected into EAST H-mode discharges at frequencies up to 2.3 kHz;
collectively the granules were observed to enhance the natural ELM frequency up to
620 Hz, resulting in a ~2.4x multiplication of the natural ELM frequency and a 50%
decrease of the ELM size.