The LHC cryogenics and its adaptation to the operational parameters for beams, related physics and energy preservation

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The cryogenic infrastructure of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is the most complex helium refrigeration system of all the world’s research facilities.

The operation of the LHC’s cryogenic system was initiated in 2008 after reception testing and a first cool down to 1.9 K. This webinar will cover information on the design, operational experiences and main challenges linked to the accelerator, along with the physics requirements.

During the first stage, the operation team had to learn about the responsivity and limitations of the system. They then had to manage stable operation by maintaining the necessary conditions for the superconducting magnets, RF cavities, electrical feed boxes, power links and detector devices, thus contributing to the physics programme and the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.

One of the most challenging parameters impacting the cryogenics was the beam-induced heat load that was taken up, beginning during the second operation period (Run 2) of the LHC in 2015 with increased beam parameters. A complicated optimisation of the configuration of the cryogenic system was successfully applied to cope with these requirements.

Run 3 (preparation for which started in 2020) required the handling of several hundred magnet training quenches towards the nominal beam energy for physics production.

Now, after several years of operational experience with steady state and transient handling, the cryogenic system is being optimised to provide the necessary refrigeration, whilst incorporating the all-important aspect of energy preservation.

In conclusion, there will be a brief discussion of the next four years of operation.

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Krzysztof Brodzinski is a senior staff member in the cryogenics group at the technology department at CERN. He is a mechanical engineer with a specialisation in refrigeration equipment, and graduated from Cracow University of Technology in Poland. Krzysztof  joined the LHC cryogenic design team in 2001, has been a member of the cryogenic operation team since 2009 and in 2019 was mandated as a section leader of the cryogenic operation team for the LHC, ATLAS and CMS. He is also involved in the engineering of the cryogenic system for the HiLumi LHC RF deflecting cavities project, as well as participating in the ongoing FCC cryogenics study.

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