Testing nonlocal models of electron thermal conduction for magnetic and inertial confinement fusion applications

Jonathan Peter Brodrick, Robert Kingham, Michael Marinak, M V Patel, A Chankin, John Tomotoro Omotani, M V Umansky, Dario Del Sorbo, Benjamin Daniel Dudson, J T Parker, G D Kerbel, M. Sherlock, Christopher Paul Ridgers

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Three models for nonlocal electron thermal transport are here compared against Vlasov-Fokker-Planck (VFP) codes to assess their accuracy in situations relevant to both inertial fusion hohlraums and tokamak scrape-off layers. The models tested are (i) a moment-based approach using an eigenvector integral closure (EIC) originally developed by Ji, Held and Sovinec; (ii) the non-Fourier Landau-fluid (NFLF) model of Dimits, Joseph and Umansky; and (iii) Schurtz, Nicola¨ı and Busquet’s multigroup diffusion model (SNB). We find that while the EIC and NFLF models accurately predict the damping rate of a small-amplitude temperature perturbation (within 10% at moderate collisionalities), they overestimate the peak heat flow by as much as 35% and do not predict preheat in the more relevant case where there is a large temperature difference. The SNB model, however, agrees better with VFP results for the latter problem if care is taken with the definition of the mean free path. Additionally, we present for the first time a comparison of the SNB model against a VFP code for a hohlraum-relevant problem with inhomogeneous ionisation and show that the model overestimates the heat flow in the helium gas-fill by a factor of ∼2 despite predicting the peak heat flux to within 16%
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number092309
Early online date6 Sept 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Sept 2017

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© Author(s) 2017.

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