Girder installation complete

Published 10th May 2019

ESRF teams have installed the final Extremely Brilliant Source (EBS) girder in the storage ring tunnel, marking the successful completion of the girder installation phase of the landmark project.

A dedicated gantry (yellow) lifts the 12-tonne girders over the tunnel wall. Credit: S. Candé.

The installation of the 129 girders, full of innovative equipment for the new light source, began in March and represented something of a logistical challenge for the teams involved. With just three entry points into the 844m-circumference tunnel, and little room for manoeuvring inside, the 5m-long girders had to be installed in a specific order.

In the tunnel, the girders are rolled into place on steel ground plates. Credit: S. Candé.

Teams had to carefully lift the 12-tonne girders, holding over 10 000 state-of-the-art components, nearly 3m high over the concrete tunnel wall using a remote-controlled lifting gantry, before lowering them into the storage ring, where another specially designed transport module rolled them to within a centimetre of their final positions.

The girders must be connected, aligned and cabled before commissioning starts in November. Credit: S. Candé.

Although the teams are celebrating the end of the girder installation, further installation work will continue unabated until November, as engineers fine-align and connect the girders together and install front ends and other components, as well as piping and cabling each component to the technical zone on the inside of the ring. Some 50 000 individual connections have to be made and tested before the commissioning phase begins in December.

Overseeing the installation process, engineer Thierry Brochard said, “The storage ring tunnel filled with girders is a very big and visible step in the project but there is still much to do before we get the first electrons turning round!”