Configuration flexibility and extended regimes in Large Helical Device
Recent experimental results in the Large Helical Device have indicated that a large pressure gradient can be formed beyond the stability criterion for the Mercier (high-n) mode. While the stability against an interchange mode is violated in the inward-shifted configuration due to an enhancement of the magnetic hill, the neoclassical transport and confinement of high-energy particle are, in contrast, improved by this inward shift. Mitigation of the unfavourable effects of MHD instability has led to a significant extension of the operational regime. Achievements of the stored energy of I MJ and the volume-averaged beta of 3% are representative results from this finding. A confinement enhancement factor above the international stellarator scaling ISS95 is also maintained around 1.5 towards a volume-averaged beta, (beta), of 3%. Configuration studies on confinement and MHD characteristics emphasize the superiority of the inward-shifted geometry to other geometries. The emergence of coherent modes appears to be consistent with the linear ideal MHD theory; however, the inward-shifted configuration has reduced heat transport in spite of a larger amplitude of magnetic fluctuation than the outward-shifted configuration. While neoclassical helical ripple transport becomes visible for the outward-shifted configuration in the collisionless regime, the inward-shifted configuration does not show any degradation of confinement deep in the collisionless regime (nu* < 0.1). The distinguished characteristics observed in the inward-shifted configuration help in creating a new perspective of MHD stability and related transport in net current-free plasmas. The first result of the pellet launching at different locations is also reported.