Power Electronics

Capacitor Charger Targets Pulsed-Power Military Applications

CPES researchers have completed “A High-Frequency, High-Voltage, High-Power-Density Capacitor Charger for Pulsed-Power Applications” project for the U.S. Army. The goal was to develop a power system to be used in pulsed-power applications to charge high-energy capacitor banks. The primary technical challenge was to achieve the power density goal under harsh environmental conditions.

Three-level resonant converters are applied to achieve high efficiency, high frequency and high power density. A magnetics-integration technique was applied to significantly reduce the size of the passive components, and an advanced power-factor control scheme was proposed to improve the total system efficiency. Using SiC devices for high-temperature and high-efficiency operation, a 700-kHz, 3.7-kW 600-V/10-kV prototype with 72 W/in3 power density was built to demonstrate the overall advantages.

One application for this charger system is the enhancement of electromagnetic armor performance. The pulsed power system charges the electromagnetic armor to 10 kV, and then maintains the voltage. Once the vehicle is under attack, the energy stored in the armor will be discharged to protect the vehicle. This is accomplished by an intense electrical discharge created between electrically conductive plates to disrupt the penetrating jet.

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