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Pulsed power - principles and applications

Pulsed power - principles and applications

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Pulsed power originated with the invention of the Marx bank in the early 1920s, enabling the simulation of lightning strikes and switching operations on power system components. Between the 1960s and the beginning of the twenty-first century, the demands of high energy pulsed power applications have stretched Marx bank techniques enormously. Refinements of triggering and switching techniques, and control and exploitation of the stray capacitances in the systems, enable 100-200 ns rise times to MV levels and above with MJ of energy being stored and delivered. The requirements of exotic radiographic, e-beam and plasma pinch loads have demanded the use of pulse forming networks or lines interposed between the Marx and the load to provide the requisite pulse shaping and power levels. Meanwhile the rise time capability of low energy Marxes has been reduced to nanosecond levels as a result of developments in capacitor and switching technologies. The latest direction is now for the development of ultrafast high energy Marxes with adequately low inductance for direct feed of compact e-beam loads.Pulsed power has principally developed in response to high energy physics and weapons programme requirements; plasma drivers, x-ray drivers, magnetron drivers, laser drivers, ion beam steering and acceleration. However, the industrial application of pulsed power is increasing.

Inspec keywords: pulse shaping; pulsed power supplies; power system protection

Other keywords: capacitor development; plasma driver; stray capacitance; pulse shaping; high energy pulsed power system application; ion beam steering; X-ray driver; plasma pinch load; laser driver; charging supply; exotic radiographic; switching operation; weapon programme requirement; compact e-beam load; lightning strikes; magnetron driver; pulse forming network; Marx bank technique; industrial application

Subjects: Power convertors and power supplies to apparatus

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