Section: New Results

FEB-BEM numerical methods for equilibrium computation

Participants : Blaise Faugeras, Holger Heumann.

A code which treats the quasi-static free-boundary equilibrium problem needs to solve nonlinear elliptic or parabolic problems with nonlinear source terms representing the current density profile vanishing outside the unknown free boundary of the plasma. The computational challenges in the design of such a code are: a problem setting in an unbounded domain with a nonlinearity due to the current density profile in the unknown plasma domain and the nonlinear magnetic permeability if the machine has ferromagnetic structures. In this project we focused on how the simulation on the unbounded domain can be reduced to computations on an interior bounded domain thanks to analytical Green’s functions. The numerical solution on the interior domain is coupled through boundary conditions to the Green’s function representation of the solution in the unbounded exterior domain. This approach is today fairly standard in many other application areas such as electromagnetics or elasticity and falls into the framework of the boundary element method (BEM). Most authors in the fusion literature deal with this question using the same method from von Hagenow and Lackner whereas the coupling can be conceived in different ways. In this project we implemented 3 different schemes in order to assess their performance. One of them, the classical Johnson-Nédélec FEM-BEM coupling (JNC) has never been tested before in a fusion equilibrium code.