Development of a GM-Type Pulse Tube Refrigerator Cooling System for Superconducting Maglev Vehicles
A superconducting maglev train is an innovative transportation system in which trains are levitated and driven at speeds of up to 311 mph. The Central Japan Railway Company and Japan Railway Technical Research Institute have developed and have been operating maglev trains on the Yamanashi Maglev Test Line for several years.
The superconducting coils of the maglev vehicles are cooled by liquid helium, and the radiation shields of the magnets are cooled using liquid nitrogen. Currently, Gifford-McMahon and Stirling refrigerators are used in the cooling system of the maglev vehicles. However, in recent years pulse tube refrigerators have been developed. It is expected that this type of refrigerator will be able to reduce the cost of both maintenance and production.
The Central Japan Railway Company, Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation have developed an 80 K GM-type pulse tube refrigerator as a recondenser for the liquid nitrogen used to cool the radiation shield plates of the magnets. The pulse tube refrigerator has achieved a cooling power of 170 W at 80 K and has operated safe and stably under the on-board conditions of the maglev running tests.
We have been operating this cooling system on the maglev vehicle for the last ten months. As a result, it has been proven that the pulse tube refrigerator is applicable to the maglev cooling system for practical use. The results also show that the pulse tube refrigerator can possibly be applied to the 4K-level cooling system for the maglev vehicle.
KeywordsLiquid Helium Seal Ring Refrigeration System Cooling Power Pulse Tube
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