7 September 2015

Power supply upgrade

Circuit board on the power supply. Circuit board on the power supply. Stephen Bilenky

This week at the lab, electrical engineers are updating the power supplies in the DC Field Facility. This is good news for scientists who conduct experiments in the resistive magnets there. After replacing some magnetic components in the supplies, the facility will have more power (which we need to fuel the more powerful magnets we are developing) as well as higher-quality power. That means stable electrical current with fewer and smaller ripples, which in turn generates a more stable magnetic field, which translates into more accurate measurements for scientists. In fact, the stability of the magnetic fields will increase by a factor of 10.

Need a visual? Imagine the maximum amount of direct current used at the lab represented as the height of a mountain, with a mile-high peak. Now imagine the ripple   — or “noise” — on the current as rocks and boulders on the sides of the mountain. The bigger the boulders, the bigger the noise. The upgrades to the power supply will allow us to reduce the size of those “noisy” boulders to barely discernible pebbles less than an inch high! To be a little more technical, it means a field stability for all our resistive magnets of 10 parts per million.

View this photo set on Flickr


Photos by STEPHEN BILENKY / Text by KRISTEN COYNE

Last modified on 21 May 2018