Constituting the helium inventory is a decisive step toward the commissioning of the cryoplant installation. "Over the past three and a half years, we have assembled and installed some
Over the past three and a half years, some 5,000 tonnes of equipment (tanks, compressors, piping, valves, truck-size electrical motors and Zeppelin-like gas bags) were installed in the cryoplant. Here, one of the three « trains » of helium screw compressors feeding the cold boxes with compressed helium at 20 bar.
Helium is not the only cooling fluid involved in cryoplant operation. In January 2022, special truck trailers will start delivering what will constitute the "first load" of liquid nitrogen (400,000 litres) to be used as a pre-cooler in the helium cooling process. (During operation phase, an air separation unit will extract nitrogen directly from the air to compensate for the inevitable losses.)
An integral part of the cryoplant, tanks and various equipment line the north side of the building. From left to right: one of two quench tanks; a 200,000-litre helium storage tank; atmospheric vaporizers; one out of two 80 K cold boxes (for the cooling of the cryostat shielding system); a vertical liquid nitrogen storage tank; and seven vertical tanks for nitrogen and helium storage.