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Thermoelectric Rotating Torus (TROT): A Concept for Fusion

Author: Adil B Hassam
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2009-12-04 09:39:18

Co-authors: Y. M. Huang, R. R. Reid, J. C. Rodgers

Contact Info:
University Of Maryland
A.V. Williams bld rm 3307, Uni
College Park, Maryland   20742

Abstract Text:
The plasma thermoelectric effect (Braginskii, Sakharov) arises because of the 1/v^3 dependence of the collision operator and drives a B x grad[T] current in a magnetized plasma. This current can maintain a magnetic field in steady state against resistive diffusion if the central electron temperature is maintained by auxiliary heating. The effect is akin to the bootstrap current in tokamaks and is best realized in the creation of a steady state Z-pinch plasma configuration. A Z-pinch is, of course, MHD unstable; but a toroidal Z-pinch made to rotate toroidally at supersonic speeds can be made stable and, therefore, also steady state from the thermoelectric effect. This is the idea underlying the TROT. The system has two novel advantages: (1) there are practically no major coil systems needed (all the field is internally generated); and (2) there is no technological limit to B, and hence to density. In fact, the thermoelectric effect can be used to even pump up an initially weak magnetic field. The primary questions for this concept are: (a) is the TE effect realizable experimentally, and, (b) what is an appropriate rotation drive? One hurdle is to find a small, university-scale rotation drive in toroidal geometry, apart from neutral beams. A novel rotation drive has been investigated and presented elsewhere at this meeting (see R. Reid, et al). We will briefly outline this new drive and show some preliminary experimental results.

Characterization: D


Princeton University

Innovative Confinement Concepts Workshop
February 16-19, 2010
Princeton, New Jersey

ICC 2010