The Borexino Thermal Monitoring & Management System and simulations of the fluid-dynamics of the Borexino detector under asymmetrical, changing boundary conditions

D. Bravo-Berguño, R. Mereu, P. Cavalcante, M. Carlini, A. Ianni, A. Goretti, F. Gabriele, T. Wright, Z. Yokley, R. B. Vogelaar, F. Calaprice, F. Inzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

A comprehensive monitoring system for the thermal environment inside the Borexino neutrino detector was developed and installed in order to reduce uncertainties in determining temperatures throughout the detector. A complementary thermal management system limits undesirable thermal couplings between the environment and Borexino's active sections. This strategy is bringing improved radioactive background conditions to the region of interest for the physics signal thanks to reduced fluid mixing induced in the liquid scintillator. Although fluid-dynamical equilibrium has not yet been fully reached, and thermal fine-tuning is possible, the system has proven extremely effective at stabilizing the detector's thermal conditions while offering precise insights into its mechanisms of internal thermal transport. Furthermore, a Computational Fluid-Dynamics analysis has been performed, based on the empirical measurements provided by the thermal monitoring system, and providing information into present and future thermal trends. A two-dimensional modeling approach was implemented in order to achieve a proper understanding of the thermal and fluid-dynamics in Borexino. It was optimized for different regions and periods of interest, focusing on the most critical effects that were identified as influencing background concentrations. Literature experimental case studies were reproduced to benchmark the method and settings, and a Borexino-specific benchmark was implemented in order to validate the modeling approach for thermal transport. Finally, fully-convective models were applied to understand general and specific fluid motions impacting the detector's Active Volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-53
Number of pages16
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Volume885
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 21 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

Keywords

  • Background stability
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Natural convection
  • Neutrino detector
  • Radiopurity
  • Thermal control

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