Stellarator Heating and Optimization
The experimental division "Stellarator Heating and Optimization" operates and develops the heating systems for Wendelstein 7-X and investigates the capability of the stellarator concept as fusion reactor. Guideline is the HELIAS approach of stellarator optimization developed at IPP.
Three different heating systems are being developed and will be operated at Wendelstein 7-X:
- Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating - ECRH - using strong microwave beams is prepared and operated together with the Karlsruhe Institut of Technology (KIT) and the Institut für Grenzflächenverfahrenstechnik und Plasmatechnologie, IGVP of the University of Stuttgart. Unabsorbed microwave power resulting in stray-radiation in the plasma vessel is studied together with the Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
- Neutral Beam Injection Heating - NBI - is being prepared in cooperation with the Andrzej Soltan Institute for Nuclear Studies in Swierk/Otwok, Poland.
- Ion Cyclotron Resonance Heating - ICRH - is prepared and installed together with the Royal Military Academy, Brussels and the Research Center Jülich (FZJ).
Heating success and the confinement improvement expected from the optimization can be quantified by the radial distribution - the profiles - of characteristic plasma quantities such as the temperatures of electrons and ions or the electron density.
- The division develops and operates profile diagnostics to address the optimization criteria. This is supported by a number of cooperations e.g. with the National Institute for Fusion Science in Toki, Japan or the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, USA.
- The optimization concept of Wendelstein 7-X must be evaluated in the context of other stellarator configurations. Therefore, in close cooperation with other stellarator research projects, IPP has set up and develops the International Stellarator / Heliotron Profile Database. In regular Coordinated Working Group Meetings (CWGM) under the auspicies of the International Energy Agency (IEA) joint experiments of the various devices are prepared and evaluated.
The integrated HELIAS optimization concept of Wendelstein 7-X aims on the reactor capability of the stellarator approach. Therefore, the division is involved in stellarator reactor studies and works on the preparation of a stellarator DEMO reactor and its safety issues as well.
From 2001 to 2013 the small conventional stellarator WEGA has been used mainly for prototype studies and training of students and staff. In 2014 the device has been dismanteled and handed over to the University of Illinois where it is now operated under its new name HIDRA.