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Benjamin Lagier

Experimental and numerical thermohydraulics study of a forced flow supercritical helium loop under periodical heat loads

Published on 11 March 2014


Thesis presented March 11, 2014

Abstract:
Future fusion reactor devices such as ITER or JT-60SA will produce thermonuclear fusion reaction in plasmas at several millions of degrees. The confinement in the center of the chamber is achieved by very intense magnetic fields generated by superconducting magnets. These coils have to be cooled down to 4.4 K through a forced flow of supercritical helium. The cyclic behavior of the machines leads to pulsed thermal heat loads which will have to be handled by the refrigerator. The HELIOS experiment built in CEA Grenoble is a scaled down model of the helium distribution system of the tokamak JT-60SA composed of a saturated helium bath and a supercritical helium loop. The thesis work explores HELIOS capabilities for experimental and numerical investigations on threeheat load smoothing strategies: the use of the saturated helium bath as an open thermal buffer, the rotation speed variation of the cold circulator and the bypassing of the heated section. The developed model describes well the physical evolutions of the helium loop (pressure, temperature, mass flow) submitted to heat loads observed during experiments. Advanced controls have been tested and validated to improve the stability of the refrigerator and to optimize the refrigeration power.

Keywords:
Simulation, Heat Pulses, Helium, Thermohydraulic

On-line thesis.