The lithium vapor-box divertor is a possible fusion power exhaust solution.It uses condensation pumping to create a gradient of vapor density in a divertor slot; this should allow a stable detachment front without active feedback.As initial explorations of the concept, two test stands which take the form of three connected cylindrical stainless steel boxes are being developed: one without plasma at PPPL, to test models of lithium evaporation and flow; and one for the linear plasma device Magnum-PSI (at DIFFER in Eindhoven, The Netherlands) to test the ability of a lithium vapor cloud to induce volumetric detachment and redistribute the plasma power.The first experiment uses boxes with diameters of 6 cm, joined by apertures with diameters of 2.2 cm. Up to 1 g of Li is placed in one box, which is heated to up to 600 degrees C. The Li evaporates, then flows to and condenses in the two other, cooler boxes over several minutes. The quantity of Li transported is assessed by weighing the boxes before and after the heating cycle, and is compared to the quantity predicted to flow for the box at its measured temperature using a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo code, SPARTA. With good experimental conditions, the two values agree to within 15%.The experiment on Magnum-PSI is in the conceptual design stage.The design is assessed by simulations using the code B2.5-Eunomia.They show that when the hydrogen-ion plasma beam, with n_e = 4e20 per cubic meter, T_e = 1.5 eV, and r = 1 cm, is passed through a 16 cm long, 12 Pa, 625 degree C Li vapor cloud, the plasma heat flux and pressure on the target are significantly reduced compared to the case without Li.With the Li present, the plasma is cooled by excitation of Li neutrals followed by radiation until it volumetrically recombines, lowering the heat flux from 3.7 MW/m^2 to 0.13 MW/m^2, and the pressure is reduced by 93%, largely by collisions of hydrogen ions with neutral Li.
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.