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October 06, 2009

Marx Generators



A 114 page masters thesis from 2005 on the operation of a 3 Megavolt Marx Generator at the University of Missouri Columbia

The UMC Marx and all its subsystems are housed in the Pulsed Power Research Laboratory on campus. This lab enables students to design, build, and test large-scale pulsed power projects. One of the goals of the lab was to develop a test facility to study oil breakdown of enhanced and uniform gaps. The now operational test facility includes a thirty-stage, three megavolt Marx generator. The pulser is designed to deliver a 3 MV output pulse with a risetime (10-90%) of ≤ 10 ns with a peaking gap. The output polarity of the pulser can be easily reversed for switch and dielectric testing.

The Marx is designed to be charged with two, ± 50 kV power supplies for a 3 MV
output pulse. Currently, the Marx is configured to charge with one +50 kV Glassman power supply and one -40 kV, Kaiser power supply. The +50 kV, Glassman Model PS/WG-50P6, is a 300 W power supply that can deliver 60 mA. The -40 kV Kaiser Series 1000 is a 500 W power supply that can deliver 12.5 mA.

The Marx is dual-polarity charged and contains thirty capacitive stages. Each stage
consists of six 32 nF tubular capacitors. The six capacitors per stage are arranged three in parallel to form a half-stage with two half-stages in series. The capacitors are members of the Condenser Products KMOP Series. The capacitors are housed in thermo-plastic tubing and consist of a composite dielectric of kraft tissue and polyester film with a mineral oil impregnant.

The capacitor voltage maximum is 250 kV with a temperature range of -40°C to +65°C. The capacitors are designed for 500,000 shots with no applied reverse voltage. With applied reverse voltage, the number of shots in the lifetime of the capacitor will decrease according to the formula described in Equation 2.1 given by Condenser Products


Video of A 2-3 Megavolt Marx Generator in Germany




Winterberg wants to Use One Hundred 10 Megavolt Marx Generators to drive Nuclear Fusion

The Winterberg Super Marx Generator Proposal

The Marx generators exist and are affordable for a moderate university. Building and connecting one hundred in series seems like challenge but not necessarily more than a big super collider facility. Such a facility would not only be able to investigate science but possibly enable commercial fusion energy generation. Perhaps a super marx could be funded 25% from federal funds (perhaps Department of Energy), 25% fomr the state where it would be sited, 25% from a collection of Top Universities (MIT, Harvard, Stanford etc...) and 25% from 50 smaller universities. The physics and engineering departments of those schools get shared research access.











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