The effect of magnetic equilibrium on auxiliary heating schemes and fast particle confinement in Wendelstein 7-X

H. Patten, J. P. Graves, J. Faustin, W. A. Cooper, J. Geiger, D. Pfefferle, Y. Turkin

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The performance of the auxiliary heating systems ion cyclotron resonance heating and neutral beam injection is calculated in three different magnetic mirror configurations foreseen to be used in future experiments in the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator: low, standard and high mirror. This numerical work is implemented with the SCENIC code package, which is designed to model three-dimensional magnetic equilibria whilst retaining effects such as anisotropy and the influence of including a finite orbit width of the particles. The ability to simulate NBI deposition in three-dimensional equilibria, the implementation of the realistic beam injector geometry, and the modification of the SCENIC package to permit the investigation of the 3-ion species heating scheme, are recent developments. Using these modifications, an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of these two fast-ion producing auxiliary heating systems is made in the three different magnetic mirror equilibria. For NBI heating, the high mirror configuration displays the best global confinement properties, resulting in a larger collisional power transfer to the background plasma. The standard mirror has the best particle confinement in the core region, but the worst towards the edge of the plasma. The low mirror has the largest lost power and thus the lowest total collisional power. For ICRH, the displacement of the RF-resonant surface significantly impacts the heating performance. Due to the large toroidal magnetic mirror in the high mirror equilibrium, resonant particles easily become trapped and cannot remain in resonance, generating only small energetic particle populations. Despite this, global confinement is still the strongest in this equilibrium. The low mirror is the only equilibrium to produce peaked on-axis collisional power deposition, with associated peaked on-axis fast ion pressure profiles. A highly energetic particle population is then produced but this results in larger lost power as this equilibrium is not sufficiently optimised for fast ion confinement. A comparison between the two heating methods concludes that NBI produces a smaller fraction of lost to input power, and a reduced sensitivity of the performance to variations of the toroidal magnetic mirror. The main limit of NBI which does not apply to ICRH is the production of highly energetic particle populations, with predictions of energetic particles of E similar to 0.45 MeV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085009
Number of pages17
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


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