A dual coolant Pb-17Li (DCLL) blanket concept has been selected as reference design for the ARIES-CS compact stellarator power plant study. This configuration is characterized by helium cooled first wall and ferritic steel structures, and a self-cooled breeding zone. Flow channel inserts (FCIs) made of silicon carbide (SiC) composite are placed in the PbLi channels, serving both as thermal and electrical insulator. The goal is to optimize the Pb-17Li inlet and outlet temperatures for high power cycle efficiency while accommodating the material temperature limits, providing reasonable flow distribution and maintaining an acceptable pressure drop.

A numerical study of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) flows in the poloidal channels that distribute the liquid metal in the breeder units has been carried out to assess the performance of such a concept with regard to the above mentioned goals and constraints. The analysis considers the electrical coupling between adjacent poloidal ducts and the influence of various parameters such as the electric conductivity of the SiC insert and the orientation of the magnetic field.