Organization profile

Introduction / mission

Turbulence is a major obstacle for building fusion reactors. We use theory and simulation to further our understanding of turbulence and ultimately find magnetic field shapes that minimise turbulence.

Highlighted phrase

Thanks to the multitude of shapes available, we can optimise stellarators even for turbulence.

Organisational profile

Plasma turbulence is one of the last fundamental obstacles to harnessing nuclear fusion for power generation. The stellarator concept, which is presently seeing the successful operation of the Wendelstein 7-X experiment, can potentially be optimized to make turbulence negligible. However, in W7-X the magnetic field geometry is optimized for good confinement only. Due to the computational expense of direct numerical turbulence simulation in 3D stellarator geometry, and the lack of accurate reduced predictive models, turbulence could not be incorporated in the optimisation of the design. But it must, if the stellarator concept is to be a power plant candidate. 

We aim at building a framework for turbulence optimisation in stellarators. The key enabling component is a reduced turbulence model sufficiently tractable to incorporate into an optimisation process. This demands understanding both the underlying instabilities as well as the saturation mechanisms by which the underlying linear instabilities nonlinearly couple to define the turbulent state.

By means of analytical calculations, simulations using the advanced gyrokinetics code GENE and comparisons with experiments performed on W7-X, we study and classify the different saturation mechanisms available, and model how both drive and saturation depend on the magnetic geometry. 

Ultimately, our aim is to build an accurate turbulence model allowing for fast simulations of turbulence-driven heat loss. In that way we can explore the large stellarator design-space and tailor a low-turbulence confinement regime. 

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Turbulence in Fusion Plasmas is active. These topic labels come from the works of this organisation's members. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

stellarators Physics & Astronomy
heliotrons Physics & Astronomy
pellets Physics & Astronomy
trapped particles Physics & Astronomy
turbulence Physics & Astronomy
configurations Physics & Astronomy
refueling Physics & Astronomy
physics Physics & Astronomy

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Research Output 2017 2019

  • 5 Article
  • 1 Comment/Letter to the editor
  • 1 Review article
12 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Overview of first Wendelstein 7-X high-performance operation

Wendelstein 7-X Team, Abramovic, I. & Proll, J., 5 Jun 2019, In : Nuclear Fusion. 59, 11, 11 p., 112004.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
plasma density
1 Citation (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Author Correction: Magnetic configuration effects on the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator

Wendelstein 7-X Team, 11 Sep 2018, In : Nature Physics. 14, p. 1067 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

First steps towards modeling of ion-driven turbulence in Wendelstein 7-X

Warmer, F., Xanthopoulos, P., Proll, J. H. E., Beidler, C. D., Turkin, Y. & Wolf, R. C., 1 Jan 2018, In : Nuclear Fusion. 58, 1, 016017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

ion temperature


NWO Grant for optimising turbulence in fusion reactors

Josefine Proll (Recipient), Jul 2019

Prize: NWOOtherScientific

fusion reactors
nuclear fusion
nuclear fission

Press / Media