The Institut de Physique Nucléaire (IPN) founded in 1956 by Irène and Frédéric Joliot Curie provides facilities for researchers who explore the basic of matter. Within its accelerator division 26 engineers and technicians from the SUPRATech pole specialise in the design and manufacturing of actual and future very high intensity beam particles accelerators. Low temperature superconducting cavities are at the heart of these developments, where liquid helium is indispensable for operating them at or below 4.2 K.
In July 2007 Linde Kryotechnik AG, has been awarded a contract for the supply of a L70 helium liquefaction plant. The scope included engineering, equipment delivery, on site installation works and commissioning of a helium purification and liquefaction unit including storage of LHe as well as filling of mobile dewars.
The infrastructure was completed by a helium recovery system. Helium boil-off gases, collected from several places of different consumers are compressed to 200 bar and stored in a number of high pressure cylinders. By an underground HP line the impure He gas returns to the liquefaction facility. After pressure reduction and drying, the Helium is fed again to the purifier of the L70 cold box.
21. November 2008, IPN:
The official inauguration of the SUPRATech L70 facility took place in presence of representatives of the IPN director’s board mainly the IN2P3 delegates Mrs Michel Spiro, Mr. Alex Mueller and Mr. Sydney Galès as well as Mr. Marcel Jacquemet (vice president of GANIL).
The successful handover of the L70 helium liquefier to the IPN was accompanied by Mr. Giuseppe D’Angeli (CEO of Linde Kryotechnik AG, left in picture) and Mr. Juergen Clausen (Head of Sales & Marketing of Linde Kryotechnik AG, right in picture) to Mr. Gérard Rouillé (Head of Liquefaction Facility at IPN, picture middle)
The liquefier L70 ensures not only the supply of liquid Helium for the test of components of actual projects of the SUPRATech platform, like SPIRAL2; EURISOL or EUROTRANS. Besides, the L70 also guarantees the long term availability of liquid Helium for future projects.
The re-liquefaction of the recovered helium reduces the consumption of helium is by at least 80%.
Considering the actual market situation including shortage of helium this not only results in cost savings but also provides more autonomy for IPN.