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Journal Articles Journal of Physics: Conference Series Year : 2014

Parallel Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in edge plasma

Abstract

In the scrape-off layer (SOL) of tokamaks, the flow acceleration due to the presence of limiter or divertor plates rises the plasma velocity in a sonic regime. These high velocities imply the presence of a strong shear between the SOL and the core of the plasma that can possibly trigger some parallel shear flow instability. The existence of these instabilities, denoted as parallel Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in some works [1, 2] have been investigated theoretically in [3] using a minimal model of electrostatic turbulence composed of a mass density and parallel velocity equations. This work showed that the edge plasma around limiters might indeed be unstable to this type of parallel shear flow instabilities. In this work, we perform 3D simulations of the same simple mathematical model to validate an original finite volume numerical method aimed to the numerical study of edge plasma. This method combines the use of triangular unstructured meshes in the poloidal section and structured meshes in the toroidal direction and is particularly suited to the representation of the real complex geometry of the vacuum chamber of a tokamak. The numerical results confirm that in agreement with the theoretical expectations as well as with other numerical methods, the sheared flows in the SOL are subject to parallel Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities. However, the growth rate of these instabilities is low and these computations require both a sufficient spatial resolution and a long simulation time. This makes the simulation of parallel Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities a demanding benchmark.
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Dates and versions

hal-01100365 , version 1 (06-01-2015)

Identifiers

Cite

H Guillard, M Bilanceri, C Colin, Philippe Ghendrih, G Giorgiani, et al.. Parallel Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in edge plasma. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2014, Joint Varenna-Lausanne International Workshop 2014, 561, pp.012009. ⟨10.1088/1742-6596/561/1/012009⟩. ⟨hal-01100365⟩
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