NPB Cryogenics Systems Status.

Clearly not all of this information is for everyone, but I think at least one of the items applies to everyone. Please scan the topics for those pertinent to you.

This is information that I believe is true and current. It is not intended to be policy or the final word of or for the department of physics. I hope you find it useful.

Gaseous nitrogen:

The gaseous nitrogen line is set to approx. 30 psig. It is available and can be used. There is a restriction in the feed line that will cause the whole piping system to drop to a lower pressure for everyone if there is too much demand. It is an intentional restriction for safety and to prevent the supply tank from being emptied if a line should break or if someone leaves a valve open. Flowmeters and restrictions in individual service corridors exist as well, so that excessive use by one lab will effect only a few other labs not everyone.

Liquid nitrogen:

You need to have someone in Cryogenic Services or your PI to train you before you can do nitrogen fills. The fill port is located inside the locked aluminum box mounted on the north loading dock wall. You need to get a key for your lab if someone else hasn't already done so. There is a data entry terminal in the black box next to the LN2 fill port. Please enter all LN2 fill data directly into the computer.  Contact me if there is any problem with this new system. A 160 liter dewar is in room B123 for filling small 1 to 25 liter dewars and proper training by Cryogenic Services or your PI is required before you are authorized to use it.

Helium recovery:

We are now collecting all recovered gas at the NPB.

Liquid helium:

The dewar storage area is in room B123. A request form and helium use guidelines are posted near the B123 door. Dewar assignments will be posted outside that room. E-mail and Web requests are also accepted. Always take the dewar with the lowest level, from which you can get a complete transfer. Please return unused dewars to room B123 as soon as you are done with them, empty or not. If you store a dewar in your lab, you will be billed for the boil-off while it is in your lab. The liquefaction equipment is in the NPB, and we have a truck for transporting dewars to remote users.

Compressed air:

It is operational. Unregulated it is pressurized to 120 psig. If you do not have a regulator on your line in the lab and you plan to use compressed air you should get one. OSHA regulations require that compressed air for blowing off parts, or equipment or other debris removal uses be regulated to under 30 psig. Be cautioned; I have seen lots of water in the compressed air system.

Natural gas:

It is operational. Immediately report any natural gas odors to the University Police Department (UPD) at 392-1111.

Pumped Exhaust:

It is to be used for the exhaust outlet of vacuum pumps. All vacuum pumps should be connected to it. Please contact us before you connect anything else. It has an air handler on the roof that will draw air into the pipes in each lab and out one of the stacks on the roof. It is operational.

Chilled water / Process water:

These are two separate systems. Please get used to calling them by their existing names. The process water is cooled by the chilled water. The chilled water is used mostly for air conditioning. The process water is to be used by the labs for cooling equipment. It is a recirculating, bypass filtered system of domestic water treated with an inhibitor and a green dye in iron, PVC and copper pipes. We are not allowed to run cooling water into drains. The supply is approx. 45 psig and the return is approx. 15 psig. It is now 62 degrees F. All of these change as the labs load it up. It is quite common for the supply and return pipes to be mislabeled.

Vendor owned Gas Cylinder tanks:

A small collection of helium cylinders is set up in B123 for lab use. For any other gasses, please let us know what you need a few days before you need it. Please sign out on the clipboard for the ones you take . Please return empties to the same room but to the empties rack. Make sure all cylinders are secured with straps or chains and that empty returned cylinders have their caps.

Uninterruptable power:

A single 35 KVA RMG motor generator is on-line and fully operational for the labs. Load coordination will have to be done. Typically you will find in your lab twist lock outlets labeled UPS. Some are 120 VAC some are 208 VAC. Please be prepared to have a list of your equipment that is powered by UPS and its power consumption.

Generator power:

A 350 KW diesel generator is operational. It is in the hands of PPD for maintenance and monitoring. It is a standby generator. It only runs after power is lost. There will be a 5-15 second period when there is no power except from the UPS system when utility power goes out. Typically all generator supplied power is labeled with an "X" somewhere in the designator, or the switch or outlet is red. The red switch in your lab operates the lights that will relight when the generator runs during a power outage. I suspect load managing will need to be done. The lab emergency generator power is shared with the building's emergency power systems (fire systems, elevator,...) Not to be confused with;

Isolated power outlets:

Typically they are orange and are fed from a panel labeled IPP. From what I have seen, these are isolation transformers, NOT isolated ground transformers. You need to know the difference. I think one or two labs actually have isolated ground transformers and outlets. There is a 100 AMP circuit breaker in each IPP that looks like it is the main for the panel. It is not. It is not wired to anything. The main for the whole panel is the 30 AMP breaker at the bottom with a little white "main" label. The manufacturer had a Technician replace parts in the transformers because of a electrical fault in an internal circuit board. They still do not seem to work and at least one of the repaired units has failed again.

Red Switches:

In each lab there are typically three switches near a door to operate the room lights. The three switches are for a reason. One of them operates the "normal room lights". One of them operates incandescent lights. And the red switch operates the "emergency lights". In the event of a power outage, only the red switched lights will relight when the emergency generator is running. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you always leave the red switch lights on, so that you don't have to go stumbling in the dark to find the switches. Turn the normal lights on and off as you enter and leave a room. Do not use the incandescent lights at all. Keep them off. They provide almost no light and they are wasteful and hot. They are to be used only for low noise experiment requirements.

The Loading Dock:

Shipping and Receiving is in B100. There are sometimes small carts in that room for moving packages to your area, but please return the cart asap. A palette jack and hand truck area available in the machine shop to sign out. Cryogenics has a mostly broken pallet jack that can be borrowed, but please ask for it before you take it and please return it promptly. We also have small hand fork and plate lifts that can be borrowed as well as a 3000lb capacity electric indoor forklift that we are willing to operate for anyone who requires a big lifting capacity in the NPB. The Department has acquired a "real" Fork truck for moving the big stuff, but OSHA requires only certified drivers be allowed to operate it. Contact the Machine Shop with your forking needs.

Please do not park personal vehicles in the loading dock area during business hours (7:00 am to 5:00 pm). They will be towed. Please park the physics vehicles in their assigned spaces. The Traffic and Parking Department has painted the parking and no parking zones in the loading dock area. The Physics Department Main Office has a permit pass for one reserved space. There are two reserved spaces out back for vendors and two more for Service vehicles.

Floor Drains:

If you smell a foul odor in your lab that is new and smells like natural gas odor, or the neighboring sewage treatment plant, but doesn't go away, your best bet is to pour approximately one gallon of water into all of your floor drains. When unused floor drain traps dry out, the sewer odor gets sucked up into the lab. If you are unsure and smell a natural gas odor, leave the area immediately and call 392-1111 on a phone outside of that effected area to report the odor. 



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