Experimental characterization of plasma start-up using ECRH in preparation of W7-X operation
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik (IPP), D-17491 Greifswald, Germany
2 Institute of Advanced Energy, Kyoto University, Gokasho, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan
3 National Institute for Fusion Science, 322-6 Oroshi-Cho, Toki-City, Gifu 509-5292, Japan
Published online: 12 March 2015
The upcoming operation of Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) will be supported by an Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ECRH) system working at 140 GHz in second harmonic at the nominal magnetic field of 2.5T. Because the optimization of the plasma breakdown is crucial to ensure a successful plasma build-up, dedicated plasma start-up experiments were performed on three stellarator/heliotron devices: Heliotron J, LHD and WEGA. Start-up behavior and dependencies on ECRH injected power, neutral gas pressure and rotational transform were obtained in X2 heating. Plasma start-up delay time decreases with the increase in ECRH input power. However, this behavior saturates when low pre-fill neutral gas pressure conditions are met. Both the delay time and the electron density are an increasing function of the gas pressure. On Heliotron J and WEGA devices, the higher the rotational transform is, the faster the start-up and the higher the plasma density are. Analysis of the temporal evolution of the plasma start-up shows that plasma start-up on stellarators is a two-step process. In addition, off-axis heating experiments are characterized by a longer plasma start-up duration compared to on-axis heating discharges. Third harmonic in X-mode has been attempted on LHD for different neutral gas puffing settings but no plasma breakdown was achieved. This multi-machine study was useful to define ECRH start-up scenarios for W7-X.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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