Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 54 / Number 3 / October 2008 / Pages 878-889
Technical Paper / Aries-Cs Special Issue / dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST08-A1908
One of the key factors that determine the competitiveness of any power plant is its capital cost. The premise for this study is that a more compact stellarator concept should result in a fusion power plant with lower capital costs that retains the attractive features of a stellarator with costs comparable to those of a tokamak power plant.
One of the design innovations in the ARIES compact stellarator is a continuous monolithic coil structural shell conforming to the shape of the modular coils. This shell is structurally analyzed for electromagnetic and gravity forces to achieve tailored material thicknesses over the surface of the toroid. Fabricating such a complex structure with conventional means would be very challenging and costly.
A new fabrication technology is "additive manufacturing" to create unique shapes directly from the computer-aided design definition file. Component size is not a limiting factor with this highly automated fabrication process. Multiple material deposition heads create the coil structure in a timely manner to near net shape. Heat treatment will remove residual stresses, followed by final machining of the internal coil grooves and attachment features. The fabrication cost was estimated to be less than one-third of the traditional fabrication methods.