Capacity and Economic Performance of a Large 5°K Helium Refrigerator
Space simulators, supersonic wind tunnels, bubble chambers, and superconducting magnets for particle accelerators and electrical generating equipment are typical spaceage applications which require sizable amounts of ultra-low-temperature refrigeration, often several kilowatts at 4° to 10°K. To provide this rate of cooling at this temperature, using only the latent heat of liquid helium, is prohibitive in cost. One kilowatt-hour of 4.2°K refrigeration, supplied by vaporizing liquid helium, would cost close to $5000, based upon current liquid helium market prices. Obviously, a less expensive approach must be used. This paper describes a 1.4 kW, 4.5°K helium refrigerator for a high-vacuum, materials research space chamber of a Governmental facility.
KeywordsLiquid Helium Bypass Valve Supersonic Wind Tunnel NASA Langley Research Annual Operating Cost
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