Free-boundary magnetohydrodynamic equilibria with flow

Schmitt, R. F.; Guazzotto, L.; Strauss, H.; Park, G. Y.; Chang, C.-S.
February 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Feb2011, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p022502
Academic Journal
The finite-element M3D code [W. Park et al., Phys. Plasmas 6, 1796 (1999)] has been modified to include a free-boundary equilibrium solver with arbitrary toroidal and poloidal flows. With this modification, the M3D code now has the capability to self-consistently model two essential ingredients necessary for equilibrium calculations in the edge region, namely, free-boundary and arbitrary flow. As a free-boundary code, M3D includes the separatrix and scrape-off layer regions in the equilibrium calculation. Poloidal flows in the subsonic, supersonic, and transonic regimes can be calculated with the new version of the M3D code. Calculation results show that the presence of equilibrium flows, in particular those next to the plasma boundary, can considerably influence the position of the X-point and magnetic separatrix shape/location and hence the position of the strike point on the divertor plates. Moreover, it is shown that poloidal flow is not a rigid-body rotation, with the fastest flows occurring on the inboard side of the plasma. A numerical confirmation of the 'de Laval nozzle' model of Betti and Freidberg [R. Betti and J. P. Freidberg, Phys. Plasmas 7, 2439 (2000)] for free-boundary equilibrium calculations is obtained, with the formation of the predicted discontinuities between regions of subsonic and supersonic flows (with respect to the poloidal sound speed). Finally, a detailed comparison between isentropic and isothermal equilibria is presented, showing qualitative analogies and quantitative differences.


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