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Optimizing the design of the upgrade to the Z pulser at Sandia National Laboratories renewed interest in the ubiquitous Scyllac-cased capacitor. For the Z upgrade, the desired capacitance value in each case is different than those built before, and double that of the existing units in Z. The cost and fundamental importance of the Marx capacitors in pulsers like Z prompted the decision to build a test facility that could evaluate sample units from capacitor manufacturers. The number of interested vendors and the expected lifetime indicated about 350 thousand capacitor-shots for the capacitors in a plus-minus configuration. The project schedule demanded that the initial testing be completed in a few months. These factors, and budget limitations, pointed to the need for a system that could test multiple pairs of capacitors at once, without a full-time attendant. The system described here tests up to ten pairs of 2.6 /spl mu/F capacitors charged to 100 kV in 90 seconds, then discharged at 150 kA and 35 percent reversal. Unattended operation requires sophisticated fault detection, and so much attention has been paid to this. This paper describes the system, and the key components including the control system, the switches, and the load resistors. The paper also shows some lifetime and performance data from commonly used 200 kV spark gap switches.
Pulsed Power Conference, 2003. Digest of Technical Papers. PPC-2003. 14th IEEE International (Volume:2 )
Date of Conference: 15-18 June 2003