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  • 22nd ITER Council|Project on track for First Plasma in 2025

    The ITER Council, ITER's governing body, met for the twenty-second time on 20 and 21 June 2018 at the ITER Organization in St Paul-lez-Durance. Council Members [...]

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  • Fusion machines | The second-hand market

    Whatever their size, fusion devices are fine pieces of technology that are complex to design and expensive to build. As research progresses and experimental pro [...]

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  • Manufacturing in China | A set of clamps to resist all loads

    China is providing an extensive array of supports and clamps for ITER's superconducting magnet systems—in all, more than 1,600 tonnes of equipment. On 9 June, t [...]

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  • Power electronics | Coaxial cables arrive from Russia

    Thirty-eight reels of cable on 13 specially equipped trailers ... the recent convoy of electrotechnical equipment shipped by the Russian Domestic Agency was the [...]

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  • Conference|Lions and mammoths and cave bears—oh my!

    Separated by less than 200 kilometres in space—but by 36,000 years in time—the ITER Tokamak and the Chauvet Cave may seem to have little in common. But to scien [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

Cryoplant

How to install a compressor

In order to properly install a helium compressor skid on its concrete pad, you need to start with a large push broom to sweep away the dust that inevitably accumulates on the pad's surface.

The last of the 18 skids will be safely and precisely installed atop their massive four-metre-high concrete pads this week. (Click to view larger version...)
The last of the 18 skids will be safely and precisely installed atop their massive four-metre-high concrete pads this week.
Then come sophisticated laser measurements; a set of steel plates, or shims, of different thicknesses; and, eventually, a powerful telescopic crane to delicately manoeuvre the 20-tonne compressor skid into place.

In the ITER cryoplant, the last of the 18 skids will be safely and precisely installed atop their massive four-metre-high concrete pads this week. Organized in three "compression station trains," each linked to a helium cold box, the compressors will supply the cold boxes with gaseous helium at 21.8 bars and eventually provide the necessary gas flow for the supercritical helium cooling needs of the Tokamak.

The 20-tonne skid comprises the compressor itself, its motor, and different auxiliaries. Perfect positioning is essential to avoid vibrations and difficulties in attaching the interconnections of the ''station trains.'' (Click to view larger version...)
The 20-tonne skid comprises the compressor itself, its motor, and different auxiliaries. Perfect positioning is essential to avoid vibrations and difficulties in attaching the interconnections of the ''station trains.''
Positioning the 20-tonne skid—which comprises the compressor itself, its motor, and different auxiliaries—onto the surface of the concrete pad is an operation that demands millimetric precision, as a slight misalignment could result in damaging vibrations and difficulties in attaching the interconnections of the "station trains."

A pad's concrete surface, however, cannot provide the perfect reference for such tight tolerances. Tiny differences in "altitude" or planarity brought to light by laser measurements need to be compensated by the stacking of shims upon which the skid will rest.

And then the final step: once the skid is in place and anchored deep into the pad's slots, a special grouting—part cement, part resin—is poured to federate the pad and the skid into a mechanically homogeneous structure—a monolith of concrete and steel.


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