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ZR Marx Capacitor Vendor Evaluation and Lifetime Test Results

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4 Author(s)
Smith, David L. ; Sandia Nat. Labs., Albuquerque, NM, USA ; Savage, M.E. ; Ziska, G.R. ; Starbird, R.L.

The Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is the world's largest and most powerful laboratory X-ray source. The Z Refurbishment Project (ZR) is presently underway to provide an improved precision, more shot capacity, and a higher current capability. The ZR upgrade has a total output current requirement of at least 26 MA for a 100-ns standard Z-pinch load. To accomplish this with minimal impact on the surrounding hardware, the 60 high-energy discharge capacitors in each of the existing 36 Marx generators must be replaced with identical size units but with twice the capacitance. Before the six-month shut down and transition from Z to ZR occurs, 2500 of these capacitors will be delivered. We chose to undertake an ambitious vendor qualification program to reduce the risk of not meeting ZR performance goals, to encourage the pulsed-power industry to revisit the design and development of high- energy discharge capacitors, and to meet the cost and delivery schedule within the ZR project plans. Five manufacturers were willing to fabricate and sell SNL samples of six capacitors each to be evaluated. The 8000-shot qualification test phase of the evaluation effort is now complete. This paper summarizes how the 0.279 ,\times, 0.356 ,\times, 0.635-m (11 ,\times, 14 ,\times, 25-in) stainless steel can, Scyllac-style insulator bushing, 2.65- \mu F , \ll 30mathchar , 100-kV, 35%-reversal capacitor lifetime specifications were determined, briefly describes the nominal 260-kJ test facility configuration, presents the test results of the most successful candidates, and discusses acceptance testing protocols that balance available resources against performance, cost, and schedule risk. We also summarize the results of our accelerated lifetime testing of the selected General Atomics P/N 32896 capacitor. We have completed lifetime tests with twelve capacitors at 100 kV and with fourteen capacitors at 110-kV charge voltage. The means of the fitted Weibull distributions for these two cases are about 17 000 and 10 000 shots, respectively. As a result of this effort plus the rigorous vendor testing prior to shipping, we are confident in the high reliability of thes- e capacitors and have acquired information pertaining to their lifetime dependence on the operating voltage. One result of the analysis is that, for these capacitors, lifetime scales inversely with voltage to the 6.28 \pm 0.91 power, over this 100 to 110-kV voltage range. Accepting the assumptions leading to this outcome allows us to predict the overall ZR system Marx generator capacitor reliability at the expected lower operating voltage of about 85 kV.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 4 )