en
Scientific article
English

Design, construction, and testing of no-insulation small subscale solenoids for compact tokamaks

Published inSuperconductor Science and Technology, vol. 34, no. 105003
Publication date2021
Abstract

Fusion energy systems studies (FESS) for next-step devices based on the most promising magnetic configurations indicate that high magnetic fields and high current density for magnet coil systems may reduce device size and lower the cost. High current density and radiation resistant fusion magnets are particularly beneficial for low cost, low aspect ratio compact reactor designs such as Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF), Fusion Pilot Plant (FPP) of low-aspect ratio spherical tokamak (ST) or compact stellarators. Unlike typical high field magnets for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or high energy physics research applications, neutron irradiation damage to organic insulations in the coil winding pack is a critical issue for next generation fusion reactors where orders of magnitude higher neutron fluence than those in present experimental reactors such as ITER are expected. Moreover, a high coil winding pack current density is needed for high field magnets in low cost, compact radial build next step fusion reactors. The slow current charging time, however, is an issue in fully non-insulated coils. We present the design, construction and testing of subscale Nb3Sn solenoids, up to half the diameter of the central solenoid (CS) for National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), with and without inter-layer insulation for enhancing radiation resistance while improving the winding pack current density and coil performance. The major radius for the NSTX/NSTX-Upgrade (reference for compact ST) is 0.854/0.934 meter, and 4.8 meters for FNSF. The magnetic field for NSTX/NSTX-U at the plasma center is 0.6/1 Tesla and 9 Tesla for FNSF. The inner diameter of the central solenoid coil is 0.2/0.4 meter for NSTX/NSTX-U and 1.2 meters for FNSF. The current charging and discharging behavior of the prototype solenoids was investigated to quantify performance advantages of a simplified coil fabrication without error-prone vacuum pressure impregnation (VPI) for the removal of epoxy organic insulation. Scalability of the no insulation concept for fusion can be addressed via engineered coating for novel insulation on contact resistance or intra-layer no insulations. Radiation resistance and coil winding efficiency were significantly improved in the no insulation coils for next step compact fusion reactors.

Research group
Funding
  • Autre - Princeton-University of Geneva International Research Partnership Grant
Citation (ISO format)
ZHAI, Yuhu et al. Design, construction, and testing of no-insulation small subscale solenoids for compact tokamaks. In: Superconductor Science and Technology, 2021, vol. 34, n° 105003. doi: 10.1088/1361-6668/ac1d95
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal0953-2048
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Creation09/25/2021 5:57:00 AM
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