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 0V 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 paper presents an HV power electronics based PG, which is based on Half-Bridge Modular Multilevel Converter (HB-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 paper, a 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