Demanding Los Alamos Project Uses SBE Patented Pulse – Power Ring Technology

los_alamos_project_200_357A scaled prototype high-voltage pulsed modulator was built for an Inertial Electrostatic confinement (IEC) neutron source. Using a pulsed voltage modulator to power the neutron source offered many benefits including compact size, efficiency, reliability, and variable output control. The neutron source required a pulsed electrical potential of 120 kV and a current of 10 A. The pulse width was required to be variable between 50µs and 1ms at a duty factor of 5%, resulting in a pulse repetition frequency ranging from 1 kHz to 50 Hz, respectively. The modulator design was based on a diode-detected solid-state Marx modulator architecture developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. This scaled prototyped had an output voltage of 13kV (1/10th scale) and an output current of 10A. A unique feature of the project was the implementation of snubberless design. All tests on the prototype were performed without traditional R-C-D snubbers for switch protection. Switch protection was provided solely by the self-snubbering architecture of the solid state modulator. Tests were performed with an additional 22µh inductance added to the load and no switch failures occurred. (1)
The modulator was built using 10 individually tuned stages. Each stage of 1300V utilized a single SBE Power Ring charging capacitor with symmetrically aligned tabs for low inductance and SBE’s patented Pulse Technology for extreme current pulse survivability. The additional feature of dry film construction simplified the construction and greatly increased the power density.
One of the capacitors used in the project will be displayed at the SBE Booth, at the upcoming 18th International IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, in Chicago, June 19-24, 2011. SBE senior application engineers will be available to answer questions and give more specific details of the design methodology and how these features can be put to work in making your most challenging design successful.
(1) Taken form a report titled “Pulsed Modulator for an IEC Neutron Source” – G E Dale, PPS 2007.

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