Special power supplies for research, medical and industrial use

Nichicon’s special equipment technology that supports the world’s highest performance accelerators

-World’s top level high voltage, large current and pulse control technology-

For almost 30 years, we have been developing high-performance power supplies for accelerators (synchrotrons) by leveraging the technologies we have accumulated through the development and manufacturing of high-voltage phase-advance capacitors for electric power and capacitors for various electronic devices. This is one of the special equipment technologies that we are proud of, and we have an extensive track record of delivering to universities and research institutes. We have also made considerable contributions to the development of physics in Japan. This page introduces our latest accelerator experiment facilities that we have been involved in.

B Factory Accelerator Experimental Facility
(High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

Hundreds of our high performance power supplies are currently in use at the B Factory Accelerator Experimental Facility (Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture).
In the Tristan project, which happened prior to the B Factory accelerator, we delivered a large number of power supplies for magnets, including the high voltage part of the 2MW klystron power supply. At the time of remodeling Tristan to B Factory, about 400 units of our company were selected including the newly developed high-precision power supply for magnets and pulse power supply.
The purpose of the B factory accelerator is to shed light on the mystery of why the universe is made up of only matter (the reason why antimatter does not exist in the universe) by accelerating electrons and positrons to near the speed of light and colliding them.

In this experiment, it is important to increase the number of collisions (called luminosity and it shows the probability of electrons and positrons colliding in a unit cross-sectional area per unit time). Providing long-term stable output for several years with accuracy of 1/100,000 for the pre-determined value increases the probability of collision.
By leveraging our long-accumulated experience and the latest technological capabilities, we have developed and delivered power supplies that satisfy these strict requirements. For the past four years, we have accumulated experimental results with high availability and stable performance, and we have also achieved the highest level of luminosity. This B factory accelerator has the world’s best performance and it has contributed a lot.
This accelerator recorded the world’s highest performance and the amount of experimental data accumulated. Out of 150 companies that participated in the construction of the experimental facility, eight companies that made a particularly large contribution were presented with a letter of appreciation by the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization. Our company was also one of these eight companies honored to receive the award.

The photo on the right shows magnet power supplies for deflection and convergence for keeping the beam orbit of the accelerator stable. We have delivered 370 units (total output capacity: 7MW) so far. It is the world’s first power supply of this type to use a switching system. Its volume is 1/2 that of conventional products, the power supply efficiency is 20% more, and the stability is also very high at 1/100,000.

Joint development of “High Output Pulse Power Supply” equipped with SiC power device

-Contributing to simultaneous high output operation of two hard X-ray FEL beamlines at SACLA-

Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute and RIKEN have been successful in simultaneous operation of two hard X-ray FEL beamlines operating at X-ray Free-Electron Laser (XFEL) facility SACLA at high laser output exceeding 40GW.

In order to operate at high output, it is necessary to operate the kicker electromagnet at a voltage about six times higher than before. We have jointly developed the high output pulse power supply required for this purpose with Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute and RIKEN. By using the next-generation power semiconductor device “SiC MOSFET”, we have achieved a highly efficient and highly stable power supply with a very little power loss and an accuracy of 0.001% deviation from the set current value.

Until now, insufficient beam time available to users has been a problem. However, in the future it is expected that availability will become better due to more opportunities for using the high-power simultaneous operation of multiple beamlines. This will also create unique results by starting the use of XFEL with distinctive features.

Development of a very high-precision high-voltage charger for SACLA (X-FEL)

“SACLA (X-FEL: X-ray Free Electron Laser) Project” is a national project certified as “National Critical Technology”. It is getting a lot of attention as a “dream light” where it is possible to observe the size of materials at the atomic level and instantaneous movement. This new X-ray facility is expected to produce exceptional results in the fields of basic science including material chemistry, plasma physics, astrophysics, chemistry, structural biology, and biochemistry. This is expected to have significant impact in a wide range of fields including nuclear fusion and catalysts. We have successfully developed a high-voltage charger with a very high accuracy of 0.01% error range for ensuring stable operation of SACLA.

In this SACLA (X-FEL) project, in the modulator power supply for klystron, 72 very high-precision high-voltage chargers and 70 modulators supplied by Nichicon are used.

Source: RIKEN

Very high-precision high-voltage charger (right photo, in the rack)
Modulator (left photo)

J-PARC (Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture / Japan Atomic Energy Agency)

The Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) is a cutting-edge scientific research facility consisting of an accelerator that produces the world’s highest class high-intensity proton beams and an experimental facility that uses high-intensity proton beams. It is jointly operated by the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).
Nichicon has delivered excellent products to major accelerator projects in Japan, several research institutes, as well as accelerator manufacturers, and has earned a high reputation. Even at J-PARC, we are working on the development of various high-precision power supplies.

Nichicon’s technology plays an active role in SPring-8, which is one of the world’s largest synchrotron radiation facilities

SPring-8 is located in Harima Science Park City and it is a large-scale research facility capable of generating the world’s highest performance synchrotron radiation. This facility has a number of power supplies developed by Nichicon, including a “Large current stabilized power supply for electromagnets” and a “Power supply for Klystron”.

Synchrotron radiation is a “light of science” and it is useful for conducting cutting-edge research work in many fields, including life science, environmental science, medicine, and industry. For example, it is used for exposure and analysis of semiconductors. Nichicon leverages its high-voltage and large-current control technology to play a key role in big projects.

In addition to electron beam accelerators with a maximum of 8 million volts in Japan,
Nichicon has also developed a large number of electromagnetic power supplies for accelerators.

An 8-million-volt electron beam accelerator that generates a pulse power of over 1 trillion watts in a very short time of one ten-millionth of a second. 1 trillion watts is equivalent to the amount of power generated in the world. This device at Nagaoka University of Technology was also developed by Nichicon.

In addition, we have developed several power supplies for accelerators. We have also supplied electromagnet power supplies for accelerators to the “B Factory Experiment”, which is a project undertaken by the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for shedding light on the mystery of the creation of the universe (Big Bang). We are also contributing to the generation of artificial neutrinos used in the K2K experiment carried out by Masatoshi Koshiba, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2002.

Deployment in medical institutions

“Particle beam therapy” is attracting attention as a new treatment method for cancer. In this therapy, an element’s atomic nucleus is accelerated and is irradiated on the affected area, thereby destroying the lesion with pinpoint accuracy. Here too, our “very high-precision power supplies for accelerators” developed by leveraging high-voltage and large-current control technology, large-capacity inverter technology, DC stabilization technology, and high-precision digital technology, play an active role.

Curing cancer without making a cut
Source: Nagoya Proton Therapy Center

Cutting edge particle beam cancer therapy system
Source: B dot Medical Inc.

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