Numerical performance simulation of frozen helium plasma disk MHD generator

Hiromichi Kobayashi, Yukimasa Satou, Yoshihiro Okuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


MHD electrical power generation with frozen helium plasma (FHP) is examined numerically. The FHP can be initiated by preionized helium without the alkali metal seed at the generator inlet. Since the three-body recombination coefficient of helium ions is low at electron temperatures above 5000 K, the ionization degree can be kept almost constant in the entire region of the generator channel. The r-θ two-dimensional numerical results show that the performance of the FHP MHD generator is comparable to that of the seeded plasma MHD generator, if the additional power consumed to preionization is ignored. In the FHP MHD generator, the ionization degree at the inlet should be controlled precisely, as well as the seed fraction in the seeded plasma MHD generator. Under an adequate inlet ionization degree for sustaining the FHP plasma, the plasma maintains the uniform structure. On the other hand, a slightly excess ionization degree causes a strong Lorentz force in the upstream region of the generator, deteriorating the generator performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalElectrical Engineering in Japan (English translation of Denki Gakkai Ronbunshi)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Aug


  • Disk generator
  • Frozen plasma
  • Helium plasma
  • MHD power generation
  • Nonequilibrium plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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