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Abstract

The design of a snowflake (SF) equilibrium requires a strong effort on the poloidal field (PF) currents in terms of MAturns and mechanical loads. This has limited the maximum plasma current in SF configurations on Tokamak a Configuration Variable (TCV) to values well below the intrinsic magnetohydrodynamic limits. In this paper the definition of optimized SF configurations in TCV and their experimental tests are illustrated. The PF current optimization procedure proposed in Albanese et al (2014 Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 56 035008) is adapted and applied to a SF scenario in TCV where the PF currents were close to their operational limits with the aim of reducing the total MAturns in view of higher values of the plasma current. This procedure optimizes the PF currents while fulfilling the machine technological constraints for a given bound on the tolerable plasma shape changes. The method exploits the linearized relation between the plasma-wall gaps and the PF currents. In the investigated TCV scenario the optimization procedure allowed a 20% increase of the plasma current while keeping the plasma shape alignment with respect to the nominal shape within a tolerance of 1 cm. The predicted optimization potential was confirmed in a TCV experiment.

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