China makes breakthrough in large-scale cryogenic refrigeration technology
China's large-scale cryogenic refrigeration technology, which is fundamental for important industrial sectors such as aerospace and hydrogen energy, has made a major breakthrough, with the ability to cool down -271C with hundred-watt level power.
China's major scientific research project for developing the large-scale cryogenic refrigeration system in liquid helium to superfluid helium temperature range has passed experts' appraisal, Xinhua reported on Saturday. This project is supported by the Ministry of Finance and undertaken by the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (TIPC-CAS).
China can now develop large-scale cryogenic refrigeration equipment with a liquid helium temperature of 4.2K (-269 C) kilowatt level and superfluid helium temperature of 2K (-271C) hundred-watt level, a milestone which has broken technology monopoly by the developed countries, and made China's large-scale cryogenic refrigeration technology reach the global advanced level, according to TIPC-CAS's official website.
The breakthrough is mostly intended to fill technology gaps, and it shows that China has begun making progress in technologies that have been mastered by other countries, Lin Boqiang, dean of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Sunday, noting that China relies heavily on imports of large-scale cryogenic refrigeration equipment.
Lin added that China mostly depends on other countries for cryogenic refrigeration technology used in high-tech fields such as aerospace, since China already leads the world with general refrigeration technology.
Large-scale cryogenic refrigeration equipment from liquid helium to superfluid helium temperature range is an indispensable core foundation for strategic fields, such as aerospace and hydrogen energy.
China's large-scale cryogenic refrigeration equipment has relied on imports for many years, TIPC-CAS' official website reported, noting that foreign countries have prohibited the key core component and refrigeration equipment used in special fields from exporting to China.
The hundred-watt large refrigerating machines have been successfully put into operation in several industries, such as accelerators and nuclear fusion, Xinhua reported, adding that the research project in developing a large-scale cryogenic refrigeration system has also driven the rapid development of relevant industries, including cryogenic heat exchangers and cryogenic valves. The low-temperature industry cluster with complete functions and clear division of labor has been initially formed now.