USPAS Cryogenic Process Engineering Course

6 - 17 June 2022

Cryogenic Process Engineering course

Sponsoring University:

Michigan State University (ONLINE)


Cryogenic Process Engineering


Pete Knudsen and Nusair Hasan, Michigan State University/FRIB

Purpose and Audience
Helium cryogenic refrigeration process systems are used primarily to support modern particle accelerator superconducting technologies, cryo-pumping of large space chambers and for small to medium hydrogen liquefiers. These are highly energy intensive thermodynamic processes and their reliability directly affects the physics program. They have often been misrepresented as off-the-shelf, technically mature systems, when in fact they are high specialized, one-of-a-kind systems, often adapting equipment and processes from other industries due to a lack of development. The purpose of this course is to introduce graduate student and professional physicists and engineers who are either involved or interested in these accelerator systems to key cryogenic system technical fundamentals.

Undergraduate-level courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer; e.g.,G.J. Van Wylen, R.E. Sonntag, Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics; F.M. White, Heat and Mass Transfer.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that they meet the course prerequisites or have equivalent experience.

Upon completion of this course, students would be expected to:

Identify and understand fundamental fluid-material properties, and thermo-hydraulic aspects important to the design of cryogenic systems.

Understand key elements and demonstrate working knowledge in fundamental cryogenic refrigeration cycles, with an ability to apply exergy analysis to a cryogenic refrigeration system.

Understand and demonstrate a working knowledge of the characteristics and behavior of key components used in cryogenic systems.

Apply the Carnot step analysis to a simple liquefier.

Demonstrate a working knowledge of primary design trade-offs and aspects that lead to an overall optimum efficiency, performance and reliability; and have the ability to model a simple cryogenic refrigeration system and investigate design trade-offs.

Understand key aspects in the design of cryostats for superconducting magnets.

Understand key elements for the vacuum system required for the insulation of cryogenic systems.

Instructional Method
Course will consist of a series of lectures, combined with homework (to reinforce concepts presented), and a modeling/analysis project. There will be quizzes on material presented.  Regular evening help sessions will be scheduled to assist students.

Course Content
The following topics are planned to be covered:

Thermodynamics for cryogenic systems.

Pertinent aspects of single component fluids and their properties.

Heat transfer pertinent to cryogenic systems.

Exergy analysis and cryogenic process cycle thermodynamic fundamentals.

Cryogenic cycles.

Key system components.

Basic modeling and Carnot Step analysis: liquefiers and refrigerators.

Aspects of real cryogenic system modeling.

Floating pressure process.

Design aspects of cryostats for superconducting magnets.

Vacuum systems for (insulation of) cryogenic systems.

Analysis and modeling projects will focus on practical implementation of material presented in lectures.

Reading Requirements
The material for the course will be provided by lecturers. Supplemental text (to be provided by the USPAS) “Cryogenic Systems” (1985) by R.F. Barron.

Credit Requirements:
Students will be evaluated on performance in project (30%), quizzes (30%), and homework (40%). Homework is intended to emphasize material in lectures and to help prepare for quizzes. Project results will be individually presented on the last day.

Michigan State University course number: PHY 963
Indiana University course number: Physics 671, Advanced Topics in Accelerator Physics
MIT course number: 8.790, Accelerator Physics

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