Researchers at the General Atomics-operated DIII-D magnetic fusion research facility conducted “Super-H Mode” high-performance regime experiments to evaluate approaches to regulating heat and particle flow at the fusion reaction edge, and results show a pathway for excess heat removal from future power plants.
General Atomics, a national user facility for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, said Friday the research tested the use of advanced control algorithms and application of plasma edge cooling methods to identify a path toward boosting the reaction in the core of the ITER fusion experiment, which is under construction in France.
Super-H Mode regime raises the temperature and pressure of the plasma’s outer region that could lead to an increase in fusion performance in the core. Researchers studied how to achieve a “detached” divertor with Super-H mode.
“Because the Super-H mode regime is compatible with both a high-density and high-temperature pedestal and a high-density divertor, it gives us a great platform to study the impacts of a high-performance core on divertor conditions in current devices,” said study lead Theresa Wilks of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Plasma Science and Fusion Center.
She added that the research could be scaled through simulations to fit future reactors and power plants because the regime’s physics “are similar to what’s predicted to exist in larger devices.”
A team from MIT, GA, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy conducted the research.