Pulse forming networks and Marx generators are the classical rectangular waveform pulse generators (PGs). They are inflexible and their capacitors must be fully charged to the required voltage from 0 V before delivering each high-voltage (HV) pulse. They are only able to generate unipolar pulses; if bipolar pulses are sought another generator fed from a negative supply voltage is added. Recently, several power electronics based PGs have been proposed. This study presents an HV power electronics based PG, which is based on half-bridge modular multilevel converter (MMC) sub-modules (SMs) charged sequentially in a voltage-boost mode. Each SM capacitor and main switch form a boost converter with the charging input supply and inductor. As a result, all SM capacitors are charged to a voltage greater than the input. During the discharging process, the SM capacitors are connected in series, producing a rectangular HV pulse across the load. The proposed charging method allows a reduction in the converter footprint in comparison with recently proposed MMC sequentially charged PG topologies. Although only rectangular pulse waveforms are sought in this study, an SM-capacitor voltage balance method allows multilevel pulse generation. The viability of the proposed converter is confirmed by MATLAB/Simulink simulation and scaled-down experimentation.
- high voltage pulse generator
- SM capacitors