In fusion reactors, the walls are exposed to very high particle and energy fluxes. To study the problem of wall erosion and hydrogen retention in these conditions, the Magnum-PSI experiment at the FOM Institute of Plasma Physics is set up. The plasma source for Magnum-PSI is a cascaded arc, where a strong magnetic field is applied to obtain the desired conditions. The focus of this thesis is the development of a numerical model for studying the plasma creation in the source and the consecutive magnetized expansion. To describe the behavior of the different species in the range of conditions in the plasma – from gas to fully ionized, from non-magnetized to strongly magnetized – a multicomponent diffusion description is needed. Numerical techniques are developed to successfully apply multicomponent diffusion to magnetized expanding plasmas. Multi-component diffusion results in a system of coupled continuity equations for all species. In addition this coupled system is subject to mass and charge conservation constraints. To deal with the coupling between the species a new finite volume discretization method is introduced to discretize the system of continuity equations. For numerical stability, mass and charge constraints are not explicitly applied. Instead, all species mass fractions are treated as independent unknowns and mass and charge constraints are a result of the continuity equations, the boundary conditions, the diffusion algorithm and the new discretization scheme. With this method, mass and charge constraints can be satisfied exactly, although they are not explicitly applied. To verify the suitability of the method, simulations of both magnetized and nonmagnetized expansions have been performed. The simulations are able to reproduce important characteristics of magnetic confinement. Results show that in the magnetized case, the plasma production cannot be modeled by considering the source alone, since plasma production extends into the expansion region.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||5 Jul 2012|
|Place of Publication||Eindhoven|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|