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National Ignition Facility: A Journey to World Class HVAC

IMC-2019 Learning Session 29:50 Minutes

by Nick Abbatelli, Lawrence Livermore National Lab

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is the world’s most powerful laser facility currently under operation at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. NIF plays a key role in ensuring the safety, security and reliability of the nation through high-energy-density physics experiments. Variations in temperature affect laser optics and propagation of laser beams. The NIF’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) indoor design requirements of the laser operational space are stringent. The most important requirement of the HVAC system is to maintain +/- 0.5°F continuously throughout its ~ 8,000,000 ft3 space. While in laser shot operations, this control must be maintained to +/- 0.15°F. Furthermore, the performance of these spaces must be clean. The NIF has High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration throughout all of its HVAC units dedicated to laser operations, some spaces better than 1,000 class.

Over the past 4 years, NIF’s Facility and Infrastructure Systems (FInS) group was modernizing the HVAC Direct Digital Controls (DDC), while not impeding laser operations. The scheduling process was rather complex as it was both hardware and software installations for 180+ fans/motors. The USA Department of Energy allocates 3 maintenance periods per year for the facility to halt laser operations, this presentation will describe the scheduling and implementation process of a DDC modernization project of this size.

A Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) effort with a goal of achieving a world class maintenance program has been initiated by NIF. The presentation will discuss the history of the NIF HVAC maintenance program, lessons learned, where we currently are in our journey and our goals for the future. We will talk about the metrics and the use of our Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) product, Infor EAM. Some of our lessons learned from the past RCM and Experience Centered Maintenance efforts that help identify effective preventative maintenance will be discussed as well.

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