Transient coaxial helicity injection (CHI) is a promising candidate for solenoid-free plasma current start-up in a low-aspect-ratio tokamak in support of developing fully non-inductive scenarios. The aim of the transient CHI research on QUEST is to develop a reactor-relevant CHI design. On QUEST, a CHI discharge is initiated by driving current along magnetic field lines that connect an electrically insulated electrode plate (which is referred to as a bias electrode) to a vessel component at the bottom region of the spherical tokamak. In the first application of CHI on QUEST, the electrically insulated electrode plate was biased with respect to the outer vessel in a configuration referred to as low-field-side (LFS) injection. To maintain a narrow injector flux footprint width throughout the discharge, QUEST is now developing a high-field-side (HFS) injection configuration, in which the electrically insulated electrode plate is biased with respect to the inner vessel components. Through the implementation of a CHI-dedicated gas injection system, studies in the HFS injection configuration have now demonstrated good magnetic flux evolution into the vacuum vessel. Toroidal currents up to 43 kA have been achieved, and the generated current has increased in proportion to the magnetic flux connecting the electrodes. These results which show agreement with the CHI-scaling suggest that much higher levels of toroidal current can be generated on QUEST in an optimized CHI system in which the magnetic flux connecting the CHI electrodes is further increased.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering