China delivers 4 high-tech transformers for ITER

France: Four converter transformers have been delivered to the ITER project and will be part of a set of 16 such transformers to be installed in the twin Magnet Power Converter Buildings.

Fourteen of these converter transformers are needed for First Plasma, and an extra two for subsequent operations, according to the press release.

Manufactured in China, each of the 128-tonne converter-transformers will be paired to a rectifier and connected to the machine’s ring-shaped poloidal field coils.

The transformers will bring down the 66 kV AC industrial current to approximately 1 kV; the rectifiers will convert it into DC current.

“With the exception of aluminium smelters, I can think of no industry that requires DC current higher than ITER,” says Ivone Benfatto, head of the ITER Electrical Engineering Division.

“In designing these very challenging components, we have also drawn from the experience in motor speed drive, like the electrical motors that power high-speed trains, whose current needs to be inverted when the train changes direction or when regenerative braking is activated.”

While trains can accept interruptions in current transmission, the ITER magnets can’t. High voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission lines and their bypass systems also provided a third input of industrial knowhow to the design of the ITER converter transformers.

Source: ITER Organization