GE to supply high performance and ultra-precise power supply systems for one of the largest scientific research projects in the world today

GE Power Conversion have been selected by GSI for the design, development, engineering, manufacture, installation, and commissioning of power converters for the main dipole and quadrupole magnets of the ring accelerator SIS100 at the new Facility for Antiproton Ion Research (FAIR), an accelerator facility in Darmstadt, Germany.

The international accelerator facility FAIR, one of the largest scientific research projects in the world today, is being built in Darmstadt, Germany. At FAIR, matter that usually only exists in the depths of space will be reproduced in a lab for research. Scientists will be able to gain new insights into the structure of matter and the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the present. FAIR is under construction at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research). Its existing accelerator facilities will serve as first acceleration stage.

The latest technologies, including innovative measurement methods and techniques, information technology and superconductivity technology, are being developed for the FAIR particle accelerator. For this purpose, experts at FAIR and GSI are working closely together with teams all over the world. Unique research projects like FAIR benefit from this kind of international, collaborative approach and structure since no country can undertake a project of this scale alone.

The power converters project was put out to public tender and GE Power Conversion was awarded the contract on June 11th.

GE will supply state-of-the-art power technology with its low-voltage IGBT inverters from the LV8 power electronics platform. GE Power Conversion’s LV8 platform will help to address research, development, and technical challenges in the most flexible way. It can be customized for either AC drives with rotating machinery or DC loads such as magnetic power supplies, each with single- or multi-quadrant capability. In addition, particularly powerful IGBT switches are provided for quench protection of the superconducting magnets. The power electronics will be implemented with system components such as power transformers, medium-voltage switchgear, surge arresters and fast semiconductor fuses.

These new switch-mode power supplies replace earlier generations of thyristor power supplies with their fast FET (field-effect transistor) ripple compensators. Switching power supplies have enhanced functionality, providing both power current to the magnets (formerly thyristor power converters) and smoothing the ripple of the same (formerly FET arrays).

The total power of the switch-mode converters is about 40 MW for the main dipole magnets and their quadrupole magnets.

“We are proud to be part of this ambitious research project, requiring our technologically advanced solutions and know-how. In addition, we are working with the challenging requirements of both limited space and reconciling our power converters with the water-cooling consumption and air conditioning constraints.” Jörg Nuttelmann, General Manager, GE Power Conversion Germany.


The GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt operates a world unique accelerator facility for ions. Some of the best-known results are the discovery of six new chemical elements and the development of a new type of cancer therapy. The new international accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research), one of the largest research projects worldwide, is currently under construction at GSI. and

About GE Power Conversion

GE Power Conversion applies the science and systems of power conversion to help drive the electric transformation of the world’s energy infrastructure. Designing and delivering advanced motor, drive and control technologies that evolve today’s industrial processes for a cleaner, more productive future, it serves specialized sectors such as energy, marine, industry and all related services.

About GE

GE (NYSE:GE) drives the world forward by tackling its biggest challenges. By combining world-class engineering with software and analytics, GE helps the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today it leads new paradigms in additive manufacturing, materials science, and data analytics. GE people are global, diverse, and dedicated, operating with the highest integrity and passion to fulfill GE’s mission and deliver for our customers.

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