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The Magnetohydrodynamics of Supersonic Gas Clouds: MHD Cosmic Bullets and Wind-swept Clumps

Edited by Arun Shanker. Published: March 9th DOI: Garcia-Martinez Open access peer-reviewed 5. Rana, Akhlaq Ahmed and Rashid Qamar Edited Volume and chapters are indexed in. Open access peer-reviewed 1.

Magnetohydrodynamics and DIY railgun

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The principles of magnetohydrodynamics are of particular importance in plasma physics. See nuclear energy. Magnetohydrodynamics MHD is a promising technology for electric bulk power generation. MHD is accomplished by forcing an electrically conducting fluid or a plasma through a channel with a magnetic field applied across it and electrodes placed at right angles to flow and field Figure 1. An MHD plant can be directly fired with coal and there are no moving parts. To achieve extra high efficiencies, MHD is combined in a binary thermodynamic cycle with a conventional steam plant to add an extra 40 percent to the total power output and to boost the overall combined efficiency into the 60 percent range.

Magnetohydrodynamics Research Papers -

The high temperature MHD process extracts part of the heat energy in the plasma at the high temperature end. The gas leaving the MHD generator, still at relatively high temperatures, is then used in a conventional bottoming steam plant.

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A schematic coalfired MHD generator in Figure 2 is shown using a combustion plasma at up to 3, K, seeded with alkali salts for high conductivity, fed directly into the generator with a superconducting magnet providing up to 7 tesla. The combustion products, still at about 2, K, then pass through an air preheater, where the hot gas exhausted from the MHD generator preheats the air for the combustor leading to the high temperatures required to create the plasma. To use lower gas temperatures under 1, K , noble gases like argon and helium offer very high electrical conductivities.

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Recycling the noble gas leads to the "closed cycle" MHD process. Nuclear reactors have been used for small generators providing the high temperature and pressure plasma to drive an MHD process, and a nuclear plant could offer a considerable reduction in pollution because of high overall efficiency without CO 2 emission. Examples of technical applications are electric power generation, electromagnetic pumping and propulsion as well as control of moving molten metals. MHD research at Thayer School is concerned with the high-speed flow of tenuous, ionized gas from the Sun past the Earth's magnetic field.

The research is fundamental in nature but also contributes to the development of a national space-weather forecasting capability.