Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin


BESSY • The ideal microscope for space and time

business as (un)usual

authored a month ago:

Pillar of the frost

Two huge Helium tanks are chilling in BESSY´s garden for more than five years already, awaiting their job-to-do when the new bERLinPro energy recovery project starts to run. Today a third huge item burst the scene: An 18 meters Nitrogen tank arrived from Czech Republic, coming in here in the morning hours. The driver must have been a guy from hell: He precisely manoeuvred the tank backwards (umpf!) into the gap between the bERLinPro building and the neighbour "Schwerlast Halle".

drei ©W. Anders

´Well, a tank being erected´, some people may yawn when seeing these pic´s. ´What-the-heck is so exciting to watch and write about this?´Ha- it´s not only ´a tank being erected´. It´s much more. But step by step.

At first, our "Cryos" were present, curiously watching every movement of the heavy haulage truck and the cranes, bringing the pillar in upright position, slowly, very slowly, when the snow white column was carefully torn into Berlin´s clear blue morning sky. "The Cryos" are those guys (plus a girl) who are responsible for BESSY´s cooling system, of the cavities, the bERLinPro project and the VSR as well. To me the Nitrogen tank visibly expresses the importance of their often quiet work behind the busy scene: Isn´t this column cool?

neunundzwanzig ©W. Anders

zweiunddreissig ©W. Anders

Second, all the past five years since the bERLinPro project gained speed, I missed something like a sign or a logo or some lettering visible from far, informing about the bERLinPro and BESSY facility in the meaning of, "look-this is it, here it is, this is xyz". The white tank with the blue lettering now clearly states 1. HZB, 2. bERLinPro and 3. BESSY VSR to anyone interested. ...hey folks, there´s more to Berlin than the Brandenburg gate!

Everytime the building site receives a new huge thing, some whatever important item, some fancy hightech stuff (e.g. like the magnets in February) I´m absolutely fascinated. I will never stop remembering that what once was only some ideas in some heads of some scientists now becomes materia: Visible, functional, operational. It´s incredible. Thinking about that I watched the group of specialists placing the pillar into it´s particular position.

funfundvierzig ©W.Anders


Because the column had to be pulled up and assembled strictly vertical, plus even more strict into its very precise position. That means: Couplers and tubes need to have enough space and distance from the nearby building wall. The vertical proof is given below: See the shadow of the tank on the glass panels. It´s exactly parallel to the lines.


It´s beautiful, isn´t it? And more than a tank, ok? A beautiful tank.