Recent experiments at JET combining reciprocating probe measurements upstream and infrared thermography at the plasma-facing components (PFC) on plasmas in limiter configurations show that the common approach to predicting the power load on the limiter underestimates the heat flux at the contact point by a factor 1.5-3. The current model and scaling laws used for predicting the power load onto the first wall during limiter current ramp-up/down in ITER are uncertain and a better understanding of the heat transport to the PFCs is required. The heat loads on PFCs are usually predicted by projecting the parallel heat flux associated with scrape-off layer (SOL) properties at the outer mid-plane (upstream) along the magnetic field lines to the limiter surface and deducing the surface heat flux through a cosine law, thus ignoring any local effect of the PFC on transport within the SOL. The underestimate of the heat flux is systematic in inner wall limiter configurations, independent of the plasma parameters, whereas in outer limiter configuration this is not observed, probably because of the much shorter SOL power decay length. Models that can explain this enhanced heat flux around the contact point are proposed and discussed although no definitive conclusion can be drawn.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics