Large Scale Helium Liquefaction Installations


We define large Helium liquefaction installations as systems with a capacity between 400 to 3000 liters of liquid helium produced per day. Quantum Technology Corp. has, in certain cases, partnered with manufacturers of large helium liquefiers and provided a seamless experience for the customer, from initial consultation and design to final commissioning and operator training. Below is a schematic of a typical large plant and operation, and an example of such a large project of the several recent Quantum references.

Large Liquid Helium Plant Schematics and Operation

A schematic of a typical large liquid helium production plant is shown in the graph below.

The brief description of the plant operation is as follows:

  • The liquefier fills the stationary liquid tank LT.
  • Users may efficiently transfer liquid from LT into their portable dewars PT.
  • Helium boiloff gas from the users is metered, recovered in a buffer B, and compressed with the high pressure compressor  HPC into high pressure storage tanks HPS.
  • The control system monitors helium flows and provides for automatic start and stop.
  • A mobile helium gas recovery unit collects helium gas from external users, compresses it high pressure mobile compressors HPCx and stores it in high pressure storage tanks HPSx.


Liquefier Expansion engine liquefier cold box
RDT – Remote delivery tube to transfer liquid from the liquefier
LT – Liquid helium tank for primary storage (typically 500 litres)
TL – Liquid helium transfer line
PT – Portable liquid helium vessels (each user should be equipped with a recovery line)
M1,2 – Meters to read the amount of helium gas recovered
B – Buffer volume (gas bag)
HPC – High pressure compressor
HPS – High pressure storage (bank of cylinders)
Mt – Gas bank meter
Mx – External gas supply meter
HPCx – Mobile high pressure recovery compressor
HPSx – Mobile high pressure storage
BT – Buffer tank for recirculated helium gas
RC – Refrigeration helium compressor for recirculating the high purity helium flow providing the cooling.

The Canadian Light Source Project

The example presented here is a large cryogenic installation at the Canadian Light Source in Saskatoon, Canada. For this project Linde Kryotechnik of Switzerland provided the liquefier cold box, the cycle and recovery compressors and the oil removal system, while Quantum provided procurement, installation and commissioning services for the balance of the plant. A few pictures of the plant are presented below.