The Lewa remote head pumps are intended to cool a variety of detectors using liquid CO2 as part of the ATLAS and CMS experiments. Source: CERN.
The Lewa remote head pumps are intended to cool a variety of detectors using liquid CO2 as part of the ATLAS and CMS experiments. Source: CERN.
A Lewa Ecoflow LDE1 pump with remote pumphead. Source: CERN.
A Lewa Ecoflow LDE1 pump with remote pumphead. Source: CERN.

Lewa Nikkiso Switzerland AG has been awarded an order worth more than CHF5.5 million by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), following a call for tenders.

The contract, which was signed in September 2018, includes the delivery of 33 LDG drive units with remote pump heads in single, duplex and triplex designs. These units are intended to cool a variety of detectors using liquid CO2 as part of the ATLAS and CMS experiments. The contract also covers maintenance services on the systems for a period of up to 13 years.

“Our expertise and ability to fulfill each and every requirement helped us to get our bid for this project accepted,” said Pietro Pettoruto, managing director at Lewa Nikkiso Switzerland AG.

The first test systems were commissioned in May 2019.

The A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS (ATLAS) experiment and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment are two of four projects currently installed at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, in Geneva.

“The detector circuits in these applications are cooled using liquid CO2, since this substance remains thin even at very low temperatures,” explained Wieland Wolff, product manager at Lewa Nikkiso Switzerland.

This means the diaphragm pumps used must be designed to meet CERN’s specifications for applications at temperatures as low as -55°C and in continuous operation for one year.

“We met these requirements by creating a remote pump head with a resistant design. Filling the diaphragm intermediate element with ethanol prevents the coolant circuit from being contaminated with oil, even in the unlikely event of a diaphragm rupture. At the same time, the modular design of the pumps and flexibility in the development phase allow us to create custom solutions based on the individual customers’ requests and specifications,” said Wolff.

This project is not the first time that CERN and Lewa Nikkiso have collaborated. In 2005, the research institute received a Lewa Ecoflow LDC-M9 pump through the Dutch institute NIKHEF. Lewa’s Swiss subsidiary followed this by providing CERN with additional pump systems in various sizes featuring a remote pump head design.