A penalization technique to model plasma facing components in a tokamak with temperature variations

A. Paredes, H. Bufferand, G. Ciraolo, F. Schwander, E. Serre, P. Ghendrih, P. Tamain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


To properly address turbulent transport in the edge plasma region of a tokamak, it is mandatory to describe the particle and heat outflow on wall components, using an accurate representation of the wall geometry. This is challenging for many plasma transport codes, which use a structured mesh with one coordinate aligned with magnetic surfaces. We propose here a penalization technique that allows modeling of particle and heat transport using such structured mesh, while also accounting for geometrically complex plasma-facing components. Solid obstacles are considered as particle and momentum sinks whereas ionic and electronic temperature gradients are imposed on both sides of the obstacles along the magnetic field direction using delta functions (Dirac). Solutions exhibit plasma velocities (M = 1) and temperatures fluxes at the plasma-wall boundaries that match with boundary conditions usually implemented in fluid codes. Grid convergence and error estimates are found to be in agreement with theoretical results obtained for neutral fluid conservation equations. The capability of the penalization technique is illustrated by introducing the non-collisional plasma region expected by the kinetic theory in the immediate vicinity of the interface, that is impossible when considering fluid boundary conditions. Axisymmetric numerical simulations show the efficiency of the method to investigate the large-scale transport at the plasma edge including the separatrix and in realistic complex geometries while keeping a simple structured grid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-298
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Immersed boundary method
  • Penalization
  • Plasma-wall interaction
  • Scrape-off layer
  • Tokamak


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