Operational History Of Fermilab’s 1500 W Refrigerator Used for Energy Saver Magnet Production Testing
The 1500 W helium refrigerator system utilizes two oil-injected screw compressors staged to feed a liquid nitrogen pre-cooled cold box. Refrigeration is provided by two Sulzer TGL-22 magnetic/gas bearing turbines. The refrigerator feeds six magnet test stands via a 10,000 L dewar and subcooler equipped distribution box. The design of the controls has permitted the system to be routinely operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week with only five operators. It operated approximately 90% of the 4 1/2 years prior to a one-year shutdown in 1984, during which the compressor skid was moved. Scheduled maintenance, failures, repairs and holidays are about equal to the 10$ off time. The equipment described was used to test approximately 1200 superconducting magnets for the Fermilab accelerator ring.1 The seven year operating experience is presented as an equipment and technique review. Compressor hours currently exceed 42,000 and turbine hours exceed 39,000 each. Failure rates, causes, preventive maintenance, monitoring practices and equipment, and modifications are examined along with notes on some of the more successful applications of technique and equipment.
KeywordsThrust Bearing Compressor Discharge Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Switching Manifold High Pressure Helium
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