Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 46 / Number 1 / July 2004 / Pages 13-23
Technical Paper / Stellarators
One of the major goals for Wendelstein 7-AS (W7-AS) was the testing of the theoretical basis for the optimized configuration of Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X), currently under construction in Greifswald, Germany. In the last experimental campaign of W7-AS, volume-averaged values >3% have been achieved. The underlying experimental changes leading to these results are briefly reviewed. The equilibrium characteristics expected from magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory are modeled in a simplified picture and compared with three-dimensional equilibrium calculations. A wide range of parameters has been covered in the experiments with and without net toroidal currents. Experimental data are compared with free-boundary equilibrium calculations and exhibit good agreement. The high- equilibria usually showed only small MHD activity. The most prominent activities are low-frequency pressure-driven modes connected with low-order rationals also expected from numerical calculations using the CAS3D code, and Alfvén modes driven by energetic particles from the tangential neutral beam injection. Comparison of experimentally measured frequencies and mode structures from soft-X-ray tomography with theoretical predictions also shows the improving understanding of these modes in stellarators. The agreement of experiment and theory gives confidence in the predictions for W7-X.