Aerial view of the Diamond Light Source, with the Reseach Complex at Harwell building in the forground, at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory on the Harwell Science & Innovation campus in Oxfordshire. Photo courtesy of

The company provided hundreds of power supplies when the facility was built in the early 2000s


OCEM Power Electronics is providing components to the state-of-the-art power system it supplied the Diamond Light Source synchrotron in Great Britain when the facility was first constructed more than a decade ago.

The company supplied about 440 power supplies when the third-generation synchrotron light source, located in Oxfordshire, was built in 2005. OCEM’s redundant modular solutions were designed to ensure maximum performance while minimizing repair time and consistently maintaining power sources.

After more than a decade of outstanding performance, the company is upgrading several components so one of Britain’s premier particle acceleration facilities can continue driving discoveries in chemistry, physics and Earth science, among others.

We were very happy with the quality and reliability of the systems supplied to Diamond Light Source,” Diamond Technical Director Richard Walker said. “Using a modular and redundant approach the solution was completely new to the market, and has achieved a very high mean time to failure and very low mean time to repair.”

Synchrotrons use a series of components to produce, confine and maintain a high-energy electron beam in a closed orbit that is utilized to produce synchrotron light.  

At Diamond an electron gun produces a stream of low-energy electrons that enter a linear accelerator. A booster synchrotron then further accelerates the beam to its final energy, and a storage ring maintains and confines the beam. Electrons are finally forced through the magnets of the “insertion devices” to produce synchroton light.

The beam lasts several hours at a time, and its light is used for a wide variety of experiments — including developing synthetic materials and pharmaceuticals, understanding the formation of the Solar System, monitoring and predicting the effects of human behavior on the environment, and non-invasively analyzing ancient objects. 

In 2005, OCEM provided medium and large power supplies to the Linac solenoids, Booster Ring dipoles and quadrupoles, Booster to Storage Ring Transfer Line magnets, and Storage Ring dipoles, quadrupoles and sextupoles.

The supplies were so reliable and easy to maintain that Diamond was able to fully manage the power solutions over the past 10 years without a single intervention from the company.  

Now, OCEM is providing several new components that are fully compatible with the existing system. The project is slated to be finished early this year.

OCEM Power Electronics, since 1943 the specialist in Power Electronics.