Re-wiring the synchrotron

'Beam On' at ISIS

Tuesday 08 March 2011

Thick power cables connect power supplies with synchrotron magnets

Heavy duty power cable to connect power supplies with synchrotron magnets.
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Over two kilometres of heavy duty power cables have been replaced in the ISIS synchrotron. The cables deliver rapidly varying currnets up to 1000 amps to bending magnets controlling the proton beam path.

A ring of 10 bending magnets in the ISIS synchrotron keeps the proton beam within the evacuated beam tube as it is accelerated. As the beam gets faster and faster building up to its maximum of 84% light speed, the current in the magnets is increased in synchronisation to give the larger and larger magnetic fields needed to keep the beam following the correct path. The acceleration cycle is repeated 50 times every second. 

Each magnet is connected to a capacitor bank and the main magnet power supply to provide an efficient way to control the continuously changing power used by the magnets in the synchrotron.

There are over 2 kilometres of heavy duty cables between the synchrotron magnets and the capacitor banks carrying around 10,000 Volts, 1000 Amps of power. When originally installed in the 1980s these cables were jointed, and over the past two years joints have begun to fail more and more frequently, each failure keeping the accelerator from running until work teams track down the failed connections.

To improve performance, the entire cable installation was replaced with single continuous cable runs — a job involving many weeks of specialised work removing heavy cables, each 4 cm in diameter, over the synchrotron machine and then installing and re-connecting cables to each magnet.

Other major electrical work in the synchrotron installed new high voltage copper ‘bus-bars’ to connect the injection and extraction magnets to their power supplies. These specialised magnets are located at the points on the synchrotron ring where beam from the linear accelerator enter, and where proton bunches are extracted and fired at the two ISIS target stations.

Power cables for the magnet power supplies being replaced in the Outer

Power cables for the magnet power supplies being replaced in the Outer Synchrotron
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Adrian McFarland in the Inner Synchrotron during the wiring upgrade wo

Adrian McFarland in the Inner Synchrotron during the wiring upgrade work
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Power cables for the magnet power supplies

Power cables for the magnet power supplies being replaced in the Outer Synchrotron.
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Power cables for the magnet power supplies being replaced

Power cables for the magnet power supplies being replaced in the Outer Synchrotron.
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Power cables for the magnet power supplies being replaced in the Outer

Power cables for the magnet power supplies being replaced in the Outer Synchrotron.
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Busbar installation to the extract septum magnet

Busbar installation to deliver high current to the extract septum magnet
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