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CONTROL SYSTEM DESIGN FOR ACCELERATOR BASED

IRRADIATION EXPERIMENT
N.K. Das#, S. Sahoo, N. Gayathri, S. Pal, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Kolkata
S. Ray, B. Chatterjee, Dept. Of ECE, Calcutta Institute of Engineering and Management, Kolkata

Abstract

A real time control system has been designed for


accelerator based irradiation experiments on
miniature specimen of reactor grade materials. High
power beam deposits large amount of heat on the
small sample specimen resulting in the possibility of
melting or evaporation of the sample, which can
lead to accidental situations. Therefore, a fast and
time critical heat removal system has been designed
and modeled using Matlab Simulink. In this paper
we present the modeling and simulation of the
control system considering the safety features
incorporated in the design. This simulation study
will help the feasibility study of the control system
design for accelerator based irradiation experiment
and present a guideline for safe operation of the
experimental setup.

INTRODUCTION
In the DAE Medical Cyclotron project one of the
beam lines will be used for material science
experiments. 15MeV proton gives a bulk damage
upto 0.5 mm with a flat damage profile upto 0.3 mm
(excluding peak damage region and ion stopping
range) whereas 30MeV proton gives a damage up to
1.7 mm with a flat profile upto 0.7mm. In this
unique facility actual samples of clad tubes and
reactor components can be irradiated. The damage
rate achievable with the 200 A beam is about 10 -5
displacement per second (dpa/sec). During the
irradiation experiments the sample gets heated
because of the high energy deposition (15-30MeV
beam energy, 50 micro ampere beam current) on the
sample. It is necessary to dissipate the heat of the
sample to prevent uncontrollable rise in temperature
of the specimen (typically 600 to 1000 degree

Centigrade in 1 Sec), which may lead to melting or


vaporization and contaminate the chamber.
Ultimately this unwanted situation may lead to
radiation hazards and it may also affect the
cyclotron sub-systems. A real time control system is
required to take care of the abnormal rise of
temperature of the sample. In addition to the
abnormal rise of sample temperature there are
possibilities of other accidental conditions viz.,
chamber pressure increase, coolant failure in the
Havar foil arrangement and failure of heat
exchanger. There are other possible causes also that
can increase the sample temperature such as: sudden
stopping of coolant, insufficient coolant flow,
sudden Beam current increase, X-Y scanner failure.
Abnormal rise of the sample temperature above a
certain limit, the situation may lead to accidental
condition. So a heat removal system is essential to
overcome these hazards. In this paper, we have
observed the dynamic response of the Heat Removal
Control System using Simulink.

HEAT REMOVAL SYSTEM


A beam current having beam power of 15 KW is the
heat source to the sample. A closed helium cooling
system is provided to meet the cooling requirements of
the irradiation target. Helium is selected in view of its
good heat transfer properties and its inertness against
proton environment. Helium gas is injected in the form of
high velocity jets impinging over the target. Because of
the large amount of heat generated over thin targets, the
loss of helium cooling during irradiation would lead to
instantaneous melting of the targets. In order to prevent
this, helium supply to the target is provided from a
pressurized tank at 10 bars with adequate storage capacity
to ensure continuous supply of coolant for ~ 5 min even
after the loss of pumping power. This time is sufficient
for the operator to trip the beam and avoid melting of the
target. A schematic of the helium cooling circuit
arrangement is shown in Fig. 1.

temperature Tc(c=cold). We suppose that l much larger


than rc so that the end effects may be neglected.
The thermal conductivity of the helium gas is given in
equation (1)

K (T )=K c

T
Tc

K (T )=K c
(1)

T
Tc

where Kc 0.15 W/m-K for Tc 300K. The


dependence of K on T follows from its linear
dependence on the mean atomic velocity [1].
The rate of radial heat flow at a radius r (rh r rc) is
given in equation (2)

dU
dT K c
dT
=K ( T ) 2 rl
=
2 rl T
dt
dr T c
dr

Fig 1: Schematic of the helium cooling circuit


arrangement
Helium cooling circuit consists of helium compressor,
pressurized buffer tank, heat exchanger, oil-filter, flow
meters (F1, F2), etc. The Compressor is used to inject
helium over the target surface through buffer tank. Flow
through the
_____________________________
line
is
maintained
#
niludas@vecc.gov.in
at
the
desired
value by flow controller. Flow meter is used to monitor
the flow in the line. This flow meter signal is used as
feedback signal for the controller. This controller output
is used to adjust the control valve FCV-1 to maintain flow
at the desired value. Control valve FCV-2 (remotely
operated valve) is manually adjusted to bypass the helium
flow from compressor to helium receiver tank.
Buffer tank pressure is kept at 10 MPa. From this
buffer tank, helium is passed to the sample through the
flow-line. Flow meter is used to monitor the flow and this
signal is used as feedback signal for the controller. This
controller output is used to adjust the control valve FCV1 to maintain the flow at the desired value. Flow meter F3
is used to detect low flow in the flow-line. Compressor
delivers flow at constant flow rate in the setup.
Compressor running status signal is received in the
form of potential free contact signal. This signal is used
to close control valve FCV and close the beam shutter
when compressor is tripped.
If helium gas were flowed over the surface of the
target, convective heat transfer would occur. An estimate
of the convective cooling power due to an axial flow of
helium at velocity v can be obtained as follows: multiply
the energy storable in a layer of helium gas of radial
thickness r around the target by the number v/l of
volume changes per second. We take the target to be a
cylinder of radius rh, length l with surface temperature Th
(h=hot). It is surrounded by He gas contained inside a
cylindrical volume of radius rc that is maintained at

(2)
If helium gas were flowed over the surface of the
target, convective heat transfer would occur. An estimate
of the convective cooling power due to an axial flow of
helium at velocity v can be obtained as follows: multiply
the energy storable in a layer of helium gas of radial
thickness r around the target by the number v/l of
volume changes per second. To complete the calculation,
we suppose that during time l/v of one volume change the
layer of thickness r takes up energy due to conduction
according to eq. (2).
The helium gas has thermal conductivity Assuming the
pressure is constant, the storable energy is given in
equation (3)

5
5
U N C P T = NR T = PV 5 r h rlP
2
2
(3)
Using CP = 5R/2 and PV = NRT. This energy is also
estimated from eq. (2) as given in equation (4).

U Kc
(4)

T
Tc

2 rh l

T T c l
r

From the two estimates (3)-(4) of the storable energy,


we obtain an estimate for the effective thickness r
involved in the convective cooling:

r2 K c
(5)

T 2( T T c ) l
Tc

5P

Inserting the value of r2 in either of the eqs. (3) or (4)


and multiplying by the number of volume changes per

second, we obtain our estimation of the convective


cooling power

T
dU
5
=2 r h
Pvl K c ( T T c )
dt
2
Tc
(6)

dQ/dt is the fraction of the total beam power. Considering


the rate of removal of heat due to helium flow as dU/dt,
the resultant heat deposition rate is the difference of
dU/dt and dQ/dt. Integrating this resultant heat deposition
rate (dQ/dt dU/dt) gives the total rise in temperature
over the initial sample temperature (i.e. room
temperature). We have used a PID controller in this

The following section explains the simulation of the


helium cooling system using simulink. The following
section explains the simulation of the helium cooling
system.

MATLAB SIMULINK DESIGN


The following specifications of the system are taken
under considerations for our simulation. One gram of
Zirconium sample of radius (r h) 0.75cm is taken in the
simulation. The sample is irradiated at temperature (T h)
500K and the helium coolant inlet temperature (T c) 300K
at 10 bar chamber pressure (P). Here Kc of Zirconium is
0.15 W/m-K for Tc=300K.
The transfer function of the flow control valve is given
in equation (7) where n = 2fn is natural frequency in rad
per second and is the damping ratio.

q
(s )=K
i

1
2s
s
1+
+
n
n

( )( )

(7)
Where q is the He flow-rate and i is the actuation
current.

Fig 2: Simulink Model of Helium Cooling System


Figure 2 shows the Matlab Simulink model for the
Helium Cooling system. Depending upon the material
and its thickness, the heat deposition rate on the target

closed loop control system. The parameters of this PID


controller are tuned while simulation.

RESULTS
We have simulated the Matlab Simulink model of
the Helium cooling system. Figure 3 shows the
dynamic response for it. Initially, the sample
remains at room temperature when the beam is off.
At the time instant when the beam is on, the sample
temperature rises up to 550K. To compensate this
temperature rise, helium flow fed to the target
increases sharply and settles at a constant level with
single oscillation. Thereby, the sample temperature
gradually comes down to 300K again. Settling time
for sample temperature is measured to be 0.6 sec.
Now, at a later time instant the set point of the sample
temperature is set to 500K. This causes a sudden dip in
helium flow rate that increases the sample temperature to
the desired set point (500K). The settling time in this case
is measured to be 0.45 sec. The helium flow rate returns
back to its original value to maintain the sample at 500K.

CONCLUSION
We have designed the heat removal system for
accelerator based irradiation experiment using Matlab

Simulink and have studied the dynamic response of the


system. We have quantitatively analyzed these system
responses and validated the stability of the system. Thus,
on applying beam current continuously, Helium flow can
be suitably controlled to maintain the sample temperature
at a fixed level to prevent the melting and irradiation of
the target metal. The system is seen to have a stable
response with settling time within permissible limits
(typically 1 second). Also, it has been observed that the
system is self-adjustable against minor fluctuations in the
beam current.

Fig 3: Simulation results

REFERENCES
[1] K.T. McDonald, Cooling of a Target by Helium
Gas (Princeton//00-25, October10, 2000)
[2] R.D. Present, Kinetic Theory of
(McGraw-Hill, New York, 1958), p.42

Gases

[3] N. Holtkamp and D. Finley, eds., A Feasibility


Study of a Neutrino Source Based on a Muon
StorageRing (March 31, 2000)