Life time testing of high power ignitrons

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Life time tests are being performed on high power, Size E ignitrons for possible use in the Nova upgrade facility with is currently designed by Sandia and Livermore National Laboratories. The testing is done up to the 300 kA level with a charge transfer of 200 C. The bank used in the experiments is a large electrolytic bank containing over 4000 electrolytic capacitors. The maximum charging voltage of the bank is limited to 4000V; giving 1000 volts margin to the absolute maximum bank voltage of 5000V. Two ignitrons are connected in series to enable High-Pot testing of the tubes after recovery with a low power, HV supply without the need to disconnect any high current connections. Tests were performed on a NL-9000A and a NL-1057 tube, both made by Richardson Electronics. The current as well as the differential voltage drops across both tubes were recorded along with the charging voltage and the differential voltage drops at peak current (dI/dt=O). The forward voltage drop of the NL-1057 was about twice as high than the voltage drop across the NL-9OOOA. Detailed waveforms and data evaluations are shown. The ignitor resistance, which is a barometer for the life expectancy of a tube, was also recorded frequently. In addition, new PSpice circuit models for the ignitrons and the test stand were developed using many of the advanced features of PSpice 6.0 for Windows.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1994
Event21st International Power Modulator Symposium, MODSYM 1994 - Costa Mesa, United States
Duration: Jun 27 1994Jun 30 1994


Conference21st International Power Modulator Symposium, MODSYM 1994
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCosta Mesa


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