Equilibrium paradigm for field-reversed configurations and application to experiments

Steinhauer, Loren C.; Intrator, T. P.
July 2009
Physics of Plasmas;Jul2009, Vol. 16 Issue 7, p072501
Academic Journal
Fresh insights on field-reversed configurations (FRCs) are incorporated in a new paradigm for equilibria. In particular four new or unappreciated properties are accounted for: an empirically based scrape-off layer thickness; a new, more accurate axial force balance relation; viscous force regularity at the O-point; and the broken-surface effect. The new paradigm corrects glaring defects of previous models (rigid rotor, Hill’s vortex). Further, the new paradigm is simple enough to be easily used as an interpretive tool despite the limited data suite in most experiments. It is applied to the newly enhanced FRC data compendium, a database of 69 records from 15 facilities. Several important observations and corrections on the previous understanding of FRCs follow, three of which stand out. (1) The traditional axial force balance (“average-β” relation) gives an inaccurate scaling with the separatrix-to-wall radius ratio. (2) The improved equilibrium paradigm yields separatrix particle transport rates of 3–5 m2/s for “best confinement” examples; this is a factor of three lower than crude “bulk” estimates commonly used. (3) The transport compared to the Bohm rate shows a great deal of scatter (40% scatter/mean ratio), i.e., “Bohm” is not a useful representation for transport scaling.


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