Beginning 2004, the Max-Planck-Institute in Greifswald, Germany has ordered a turnkey Helium Refrigerator for the experiment “WENDELSTEIN 7-X” fusion project from Linde Kryotechnik AG.
The milestone for the delivery of the cold boxes for the Helium Refrigerator has been achieved on time.
What is the scope of the WENDELSTEIN 7-X fusion project? The aim of fusion research is to produce energy through fusion of the atomic nuclei. Nuclear fusion is one of the most important natural processes. Many chemical elements are generated from hydrogen by fusion. Fusion is the energy source from the sun and stars. The optimal fusion under earthly conditions is that of both hydrogen forms Deuterium and Tritium. This fusion results in a helium nucleus, a free set neutron as well as a large quan-tity of useable energy. One gram of fuel would produce 90’000 kilowatt hours energy in a power plant, the equivalent to the combustion heat of 11 tons of coal.
In May 2007 the four required cold boxes for the helium refrigerator with a total weight of 77 tons have been delivered to the MPI in Greifswald, after it has taken one year for each phase for engineering, designing and manufacturing. However, Linde Kryotechnik AG had to find solutions for ambitious specifications beforehand. A process had to be implemented which is able to execute seven operational modes. The resulting components needed to be designed in a way to make them fit into the destined premises.
Linde Kryotechnik AG achieved the required solutions and implemented them successfully. The four cold boxes arrived at the Max-Planck-Institute in Greifswald after a two-weeks journey on flat bed trailer, barge and ves-sel. The journey started in Schalchen (Bavaria, Germany) and went via Nuremberg, Frankfurt a.M., Cologne, Hannover and Berlin as well as through Polish territory.
The last challenge was to carry the boxes without damage through the roof-light into the destined premises by using a crane of 300 tons. The distance between the window opening and the respective coldbox was only five centimetres on a length of seven meters!