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Section: New Results

Finite volume approximations for fusion plasma

Participants : Hervé Guillard, Afeintou Sangam, Elise Estibals.

The MHD model used for plasma studies in tokamak is very often based on the magnetic vector potential form of the equations where the vector potential satisfies ×𝐀=𝐁 with 𝐁 the magnetic field and only a small number of numerical models uses the conservative formulation based on 𝐁. One of the shortcomings of this latter formulation is the necessity to enforce numerically the divergence free constraint on the magnetic field that can be difficult to achieve and/or computationally costly. Another difficulty is that the equilibrium solution of the MHD equation given by the Grad-Shafranov equation is not an exact solution of the discrete equation.

We have begun to investigate the use of the 𝐁 formulation for tokamak studies. The divergence free constraint is taken into account by a projection at each time step on a rotated gradient field. This step ensures a strict respect of the divergence free constraint while being extremely cheap since the scalar field is simply advected by the flow. The numerical experiments performed show that this method is efficient for the study of discontinuous MHD flows. For plasma fusion flows, the method experiences presently some difficulties to compute steady equilibrium flows.