The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) is a facility being designed for scientific and industrial research and development. The SNS will generate and employ neutrons as a research tool in a variety of disciplines including biology, material science, superconductivity, chemistry, etc. The neutrons will be produced by bombarding a heavy metal target with a high-energy beam of protons, generated and accelerated with a linear particle accelerator, or linac. The low energy end of the linac consists of, in part, a multi-cell copper structure termed a coupled cavity linac (CCL). The CCL is responsible for accelerating the protons from an energy of 87 MeV, to 185 MeV.

Acceleration of the charged protons is achieved by the use of large electrical field gradients established within specially designed contoured cavities of the CCL. While a large amount of the electrical energy is used to accelerate the protons, approximately 60-80% of this electrical energy is dissipated in the CCL’s copper structure. To maintain an acceptable operating temperature, as well as minimize thermal stresses and maintain desired contours of the accelerator cavities, the electrical waste heat must be removed from the CCL structure. This is done using specially designed water cooling passages within the linac’s copper structure. Cooling water is supplied to these cooling passages by a complex water cooling and temperature control system.

This paper discusses the design, analysis, and testing of a water cooling system for a prototype CCL. First, the design concept and method of water temperature control is discussed. Second, the layout of the prototype water cooling system, including the selection of plumbing components, instrumentation, as well as controller hardware and software is presented. Next, the development of a numerical network model used to size the pump, heat exchanger, and plumbing equipment, is discussed. Finally, empirical pressure, flow rate, and temperature data from the prototype CCL water cooling tests are used to assess water cooling system performance and numerical modeling accuracy.

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John D. Bernardin, Curtt Ammerman, Steve Hopkins