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Marx Generator Capacitance and Charge Storing Question

  1. Mar 19, 2015 #1

    I have had a question on my mind that a generic google search has so far been unable to answer for me. I know that marx generators multiple voltage by cascading capacitor discharges so that you get a final voltage of n x Vinit - where n is number of capacitors and Vinit is your initial voltage.

    In all videos and discussions I have seen, that final voltage gets discharged across the final capacitors - implying that just as the initial capacitors discharged, the final capacitors must also discharge in like manner.

    My question is, if you did not want a final discharge, but instead wanted to store charge, is a marx generator capable of doing this? Or must the final capacitors discharge after cascading through the initial capacitors?

    In other words, If I have two parallel plates rather than the little balls that you see for the final capacitors, and my final voltage at the end of n x Vint equals 20KV, can those parallel plates store the charge or no?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2015 #2
    I think you mistake the purpose of the pairs of spheres. These are not capacitors, but a switch. The generator charges the capacitors in parallel, then these are connected in series across the load via the pair of balls. These balls form a spark gap. One if them might be attached to a swing arm or some other device, used to enable an arc to form between them. This arc then discharges the series connected capacitors through the load. The nonlinear properties of the arc help to shape the waveform if the discharge.
    The spark gap switch is used because a regular switch would be damaged by the high violtages and currents involved in the discharge.
  4. Mar 19, 2015 #3
    Yes it is (if you have adequate cap-to-cap switches and insulation level everywhere)
  5. Mar 24, 2015 #4
    Thanks for the info, zoki. That is what I was looking for.

    Can anyone recommend a good book on the topic of marx generators? Google searches aren't really cutting it.

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