Multi Sentry Protects Power At UK’s Version Of The Large Hadron Collider

Our efficient and flexible Multi Sentry UPS proves the perfect power protection choice for leading scientific research facility Diamond Light Source.

Based in Oxfordshire, Diamond Light Source is the country’s national synchrotron facility. The government-backed, not-for-profit organisation is a vital scientific resource to more than 7,000 researchers from academia and industry. It is home to more than 600 staff.

A huge machine called the synchrotron is the centrepiece of Diamond Light Source. Measuring 1/2 km in circumference, it’s the United Kingdom’s equivalent of world-famous particle accelerator the Large Hadron Collider.

Basically, the massive microscope captures the power generated by electrons sent at near light speeds through three particle accelerators. This produces X-ray-like beams that are 10 billion times brighter than the sun. Scientists use 31 of these ‘beamlines’ directed into laboratories on site to study atoms and molecules.

Applications for the beamlines are huge. Synchrotron light helps tackle diseases like Polio and Foot-and-Mouth. It assists with antibiotic research. The machine also enables the preservation of ancient artefacts such as the historic warship The Mary Rose.

aerial view of synchrotron at diamond light source, oxfordshire
SEE THE LIGHT: Aerial shot of the 1/2km circumference synchrotron, the ‘massive microscope’ at the heart of the Diamond Light Source scientific research laboratory

UPS Keeping The Synchrotron Online

The microscopic machinery calibrated through several items of equipment to ensure optimum precision. Tiny disruptions to the power, or the even worse scenario of a power cut, means the beamlines need to be re-calibrated from scratch. This can take up to two weeks per beamline, a loss of vital research time.

Similarly, the site is home to eight cutting-edge microscopes which each have a super-sensitive filament in the tip. If power goes down before these heating elements cool down, they’re destroyed and need replacing.

As it’s such a mission-critical site, Diamond Light Source uses a bespoke uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to ensure clean and continuous electrical flow.

Certified Riello UPS reseller Specialist Power Systems was commissioned to design and install the UPS system. Due to the nature of the facility, our flexible and efficient Multi Sentry UPS was the most suitable model.

The online, dual conversion UPS delivers exceptional performance in a compact footprint. A total of 41 units (13 x 120 KVA and 28 x 30 KVA) designed in a parallel system offers the necessary redundancy and provides complete protection against power failure. It also offers advanced ‘open protocol’ communication, making it easier to monitor the loads and battery autonomy.

Critical Power Protection Delivered Ahead Of Schedule

UPS installation took three months less than the scheduled six months. This minimised downtime for Diamond Light Source and led to significant cost savings.

“In recent years, UPS failure has been a real issue for us and has had a knock-on effect with the laboratories and scientists we work with.

“However, with the new Riello UPS installation, we have had total confidence from start to finish and also feel we have an added level of protection with the ongoing maintenance support.” – Andy Reed, Head of Electrical Facilities at Diamond Light Source

Read all about how Riello UPS’s Multi Sentry product is keeping the lights shining at Diamond Light Source (Click here)