Hydro-pneumatic pulse forming networks
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A novel method that combines energy storage and power condition- ing for renewable energy systems is presented. This method utilizes hydro- pneumatic energy storage elements, also known as hydraulic accumulators, as mechanical capacitors arranged in such a fashion as to create a hydro- pneumatic pulse forming network (HPPFN) in a manner similar to sequen- tially red pulsed formed networks (SFPFNs) used for electromagnetic railgun launch. This pulse forming network has the ability to create a power output of nearly constant amplitude for short durations, which is particularly well-suited for supplying power to constant amplitude, duty-cycle-type loads. The foundational principles are established herein for how HPPFN sys- tems can be modeled and synthesized, so that systems can be designed and scaled for practical applications. This foundation was established incremen- tally in three parts. First, a working experimental test-bed system was con- structed to prove the feasibility of operating a sequentially- red pulse forming network using hydro-pneumatic energy storage elements in a manner analogous to electromagnetic sequentially- red PFNs. Next, a modeling framework was developed for hydro-pneumatic pulse forming network synthesis. Finally, the model-based synthesis approach was experimentally validated using the test- bed to demonstrate that sizing and practical construction of HPPFN systems can be accomplished. Suggestions for future work to extend these methods and the applications of HPPFNs are provided.