Recovery of high power water switches

S. Xiao, J. F. Kolb, C. Bickes, Y. Minimitani, M. Laroussi, R. P. Joshi, K. H. Schoenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The recovery of water switches is determined by the expansion and decay of a vapor bubble that is generated and driven by the energy dissipated in the switch medium during switch closure. Shock waves that also carry away energy propagate through the switch volume much faster and have faded away before the vapor bubble reaches its maximum expansion. For water switches operating at energy levels of 1 J, we previously found a recovery time on the order of 1 ms, which is in agreement with the decay time of the vapor bubble. This allows for a repetitive switch operation at 1 kHz. We have extended the study of water switch recovery to higher energy levels, up to 50 J. As the energy is increased, it takes about 10 ms for the switch gap to become clear again. Although the absolute energy dissipated in shockwaves increases with the switching energy, the percentage of energy converted into kinetic energy decreases (20% for 15 J and 8% for 50 J).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-132
Number of pages4
JournalConference Record of the International Power Modulator Symposium and High Voltage Workshop
StatePublished - 2004
Event2004 IEEE International Power Modulator Conference: 26th International Power Modulator Symposium and 2004 High Voltage Workshop - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: May 23 2004May 26 2004


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