LHC Energy consumption

Main CERN users

SPS machine
SPS exp. areas
PS Complex
PS exp.areas
LHC cryo
LHC RF & others
LHC machine cooling & services
LHC exp. cooling and services
LHC experiments
LHC base load
Meyrin-Prevessin baseload
M-P winter baseload 


When the LHC is up and running the total average power for the whole CERN site will peak during July at about 180 MW of which:

  • LHC cryogenics 27.5 MW
  • LHC experiments 22 MW

If we include the base load for the whole site, the LHC contribution totals around 120 MW. (The number for just the LHC machine, not including the experiments or the site base load, would a fair bit less.)

During winter, when the accelerators are not running, CERN's total consumption drops to about 35 MW.


[Assume 720 hours per month for June, say, - 180 MW gives 130 GWh.]

CERN predicted total for the year 2009 with LHC fully operational is around 1000 GWh of which around 700 GWh might be attributed to the LHC (machine, experiments, baseload).


The canton of Geneva uses 41 PJ/year (heating, transport, electricity) i.e. around 11.4 TWh, so CERN comes in at less that 10% of the total energy consumption of the canton.

CERN does not generate any of its own power, although it does have diesel generators (UPS) as back-up in the case of power cuts to run essential services.


ML July 2007