Enable Recite

Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Art and ITER | Two sisters, two suns and a monument to fusion

    Amid the gentle slopes of Asciano, Italy, there stands a stone window that frames the Sun on the summer solstice. It looks as though it might have always been t [...]

    Read more

  • Staff | The men and women of ITER

    They hail from Ahmedabad and Prague ... from Naka and Moscow ... from Seoul, Hefei, Atlanta and hundreds of other towns and cities across the 35 nations partici [...]

    Read more

  • ITER Talks | All about ITER and fusion

    Beginning this autumn, the ITER Organization will be launching a new video series to inform, inspire and educate. The first video—introducing the series and off [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | A majestic components enters the stage

    The floor of the Assembly Hall is an ever-changing stage. Like characters in a grand production, components of all size and shapes make a spectacular entry, pl [...]

    Read more

  • Magnet system | A set of spares for the long journey

    In about five years, ITER will embark on a long journey through largely uncharted territory. Conditions will be harsh and—despite all the calculations, modellin [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Power conversion

China delivers four high-tech transformers

The four converter-transformers that passed the ITER gate at 3:00 a.m. last Wednesday are part of a set of 16 to be installed outside the twin Magnet Power Converter Buildings. (Fourteen are needed for First Plasma, an extra two for subsequent operations.)

Technology for the convertor-transformers draws from four technological know-how: aluminum smelters for high DC current; motor speed drive for current inversion and High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power transmission lines for bypass systems. (Click to view larger version...)
Technology for the convertor-transformers draws from four technological know-how: aluminum smelters for high DC current; motor speed drive for current inversion and High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power transmission lines for bypass systems.
Procured by China, each of the 128-tonne converter-transformers will be paired to a rectifier and connected to the machine's ring-shaped poloidal field coils. The transformers will bring down the 66 kV AC industrial current to approximately 1 kV; the rectifiers will convert it into DC current, just like a cell phone or laptop adapter transforms the 110 or 220 volts from the wall plug into 9, 12, or 24 volts of DC current.

The difference, as in everything ITER, is in size and power. "With the exception of aluminium smelters, I can think of no industry that requires DC current higher than ITER," says Ivone Benfatto, head of the ITER Electrical Engineering Division.

However contrary to aluminium smelters, the ITER magnets need to be fed current in two directions in order to control the magnetic fields and optimize the duration of the plasmas. "In designing these very challenging components, we have also drawn from the experience in motor speed drive, like the electrical motors that power high-speed trains, whose current needs to be inverted when the train changes direction or when regenerative braking is activated."

And whereas trains can accept interruptions in current transmission, the ITER magnets can't. High voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission lines and their bypass systems also provided a third input of industrial knowhow to the design of the ITER converter-transformers.

"Sometimes," muses Ivone, "we tend to forget that some of the components that are delivered to us are technological marvels ..."


return to the latest published articles