Multi-Channel Controller – Wendelstein 7-X nuclear fusion reactor

11. March 2016

Simply convincing

Applications multichannel controller FP1600


The Max Planck Institut Greifswald has been working on one of the largest research projects in Germany since the early 1990s. With the final goal of testing the power plant aptitude, the world’s largest fusion plant will be created during this project. The nuclear fusion reactor Wendelstein 7-X attempts to recreate the energy generated by nuclear fusion in the sun. In this unique project, temperatures of up to 150,000,000 ° C are expected to produce ignitable and energy-emitting plasma.

Max Planck Institut Greifswald

Wendelstein 7-X nuclear fusion reactor

Wendelstein 7-X nuclear fusion reactor
Photo: IPP, Wolfgang Filser


Electrical auxiliary heaters are an important part of the system. By means of insulated heating mats, system components such as nozzles and pumps must be kept at an operating temperature of approximately
160°C. This essential temperature control eliminates the contamination of the plant components by oil, grease, condensed vapors and other reaction products. In total, 360 control circuits must be realized and visualized in this plant section.


The 380 control loops are controlled and monitored by five identically constructed control cabinets, each with an FP1600 multi-channel system. A total of 132 kW of power is required for the additional heating systems. The mapping of the plant components is made by process visualization Visual Fecon. In addition to the proper temperature control, the FP1600 detects the respective line voltage, the present heating current, the cabinet temperature and the safety shutdown status.

FP1600 with 112 zones

Process visualization Visual Fecon

With a total of 25 kilometers of custom-made high-end cables, the heating mats with integrated PT100 elements are connected. This allows an absolutely interference-free temperature detection in such an extreme environment. The five FP1600 systems are linked via light guides and connected to the central computer of the system. Visual Fecon is used for the operation of all control loops and their clear visualization. For example this makes it possible to evaluate all process values of the additional heating as a curve since these are logged in the Fecon database.