Institute of Physics is the only institution in Croatia with expertise in cryogenics based on liquid helium, a primary cryogenic medium for achieving very low temperatures (down to -269°C). Cryogenic Facility of the Institute of Physics has been collecting, recycling and liquefying the helium gas for half a century. Liquid helium is necessary for low-temperature physics research including the use of superconducting magnets for achieving very high magnetic fields. It is used in the laboratories at the Institute of Physics and our associates’ institutions.
The present Cryogenic Facility includes M1410 (Koch Process systems, Inc.-USA) helium liquefier with two 1410 water-cooled 50 kW compressors. The existing helium liquefier has been in use for 25 years and is at present in need of constant repairs, while the capacity has become insufficient to serve comfortably all the users. The Facility also includes the infrastructure for recycling and liquefying of helium, the stationary and transport liquid helium dewars, the liquid nitrogen dewars, the compressor with two balloons connected to the helium recovery line, the analyser of the helium gas purity, the high-pressure helium gas batteries and he passive water cooling system. The Cryogenic Facility is coordinated by our scientist Dr. Nikolina Novosel, a research associate at the Institute of Physics, and all the technical work is performed by our senior technician Eng. Josip Pogačić and associate technician Eng. Žarko Vidović.
Within the KaCIF project we plan to modernize and upgrade the existing infrastructure for helium recycling and liquefying in order to increase the capacity for all the existing and future users in Zagreb, while also making the process of helium collecting and liquefying self-sustainable and ecologically acceptable in the long term. The most important part of the new equipment which will be procured thorough KaCIF project is a new helium liquefier with minimal liquefying capacity of 20.000 l of liquid helium per year which can also reach up to 40.000 l/year capacity expected to be needed in the future. The KaCIF project will also enable the modernization of the rest of the cryogenic infrastructure: 7 new high-pressure helium batteries (each battery with 12 bottles with 50l volume 200 bar and pressure), new 1000 l stationary liquid helium dewar, two 100 l liquid helium transport dewars, 1000 l liquid nitrogen stationary dewar, new balloon for helium gas recovery, two 100l liquid nitrogen transport dewars and a new compressor-cooling system.
We are happy to announce that in August 2020. Institute of Physics has signed a contract with Vorbuchner GmbH & Co. KG for procurement of new helium liquefier.