Supplies Power Future Research

FLASH-ExperimentierhallePower supply units from Murrelektronik will be a fundamental part of the European XFEL x-ray optics research centre when it opens in 2016

Once finished, the European XFEL centre in Germany is expected to open up new research possibilities to scientists around the world. Powered by Murrelektronik’s Emparro power supply units and MB Redundancy Balance modules, the centre will generate ultra short x-ray flashes in a 3.4km tunnel.

Manipulation of the x-ray beams will take place in a 900m long section of the tunnel where the x-ray light is transported through evacuated tubes. Controls, positioned inside the tube, address vacuum valves, sliders and motors for positioning mirrors, as well as monitoring the engine coolant and compressed air. Murrelektronik’s Emparro power supply units provide the 24V supply for the controls, as well as for other components on-site.

Simple wiring

Physics engineer at European XFEL, Timo Korsch, explained: “The control cabinets in the tunnel are only 1.2m high. They therefore require very simple wiring. Emparro power supply units make this possible because they are connected with spring clamp terminals.”

The terminals are designed using push-in technology so connection wires can be mounted in the front without using tools. The contacts are permanent and are said never to need re-tightening. Furthermore, with an efficiency rating of up to 95 per cent, Emparro power supplies only loose a small amount of energy. This means they don’t dissipate much heat.

Timo Korsch added: “Less heat dissipation means less cooling is required in the air-conditioned control cabinets, which saves energy and lowers costs.”

Redundancy ensures uptime

In order to maximise the time available for research and experimentation. it is vital that the facility work without interruption, so access to the tunnels is limited to scheduled maintenance times. As a result, the power supply is designed with redundancy. Two power supply units each are operated with different phases. They are decoupled by a MB Redundancy Balance module that ensures equal loads on both power supply units. As a result, the life of the units increases and, if one of the power supplies should fail, operations can continue until the next scheduled maintenance day.

Both Emparro and MB Redundancy Balance feature signal contacts, which can provide additional maintenance benefits via remote diagnostics. In the event of voltage drops, this information can be read directly.