Effect of transonic flow in the ablation cloud on the lifetime of a solid hydrogen pellet in a plasma
A knowledge of solid hydrogen pellet lifetimes in a plasma is critical to the design of devices to refuel tokamak fusion reactors. When the pellet is injected into the plasma, the ablated material from the pellet undergoes a transonic flow since it is heated while it expands. Calculations are done on the behavior of the transonic flow for various plasma conditions and pellet sizes. From these calculations, the ablation rate and lifetimes of the pellet are determined. A scaling law is given which allows pellet lifetimes to be easily calculated for any plasma conditions. The results of these calculations give good agreement when compared with experiments.