Large-scale cryogenic refrigeration system is the only means of achieving a cryogenic environment for large scientific facilities. It is the indispensable core equipment for helium resource exploitation as well as hydrogen energy application.
Since 2010, researchers at the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (TIPC-CAS) have developed a large-scale cryogenic refrigeration equipment with liquid helium temperature of 4.2K (-269°C) kilowatt level and superfluid helium temperature of 2K (-271°C) hundred-watt level via a decade-long scientific research project.
They have made breakthroughs in a series of key technologies and formed a research and development system with independent intellectual property rights, including high-speed turbine expander, cryogenic centrifugal compressor, oil-injection helium screw compressor, ultra-low leakage rate cryogenic heat exchanger, cryogenic valves, and integration of refrigeration equipment, etc.
“With the successful implementation of the project, China has broken the monopoly of developed countries on large-scale cryogenic refrigeration technology below 20K temperature zones", said Prof. GONG Linghui, director of the project.
In addition, the researchers also created a development methodology of "research, application and tech-transformation".
The hundred-watt large cryogenic refrigeration equipment have been put into operation in related fields, such as helium extraction in Ningxia, the superconducting magnet test platform of the Institute of High Energy Physics of CAS and nuclear fusion science devices abroad, etc. More applications and technology transfer are being realized through a technology transformation company, Sinoscience Fullcryo.
In the future, the researchers will actively take "the open competition mechanism to select the best candidates" to launch new challenges to the larger cryogenic capacity research and application.
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