Characterization of Triggered Vacuum Switches for High Current Operation

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Pappas, J.A.
Pish, S.P.
Salinas, M.J.

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Triggered vacuum switches show promise for use in high-power, high-current and high-frequency conversion and switching circuits. Their specific power and power density ratings are well above silicon devices. TVS are robust devices that can survive faults that would destroy other types of switching devices. In addition, TVS are capable of fast recovery. However, there is not much performance data at high current and frequency and TVS are unable to recover reliably under reversing current and voltage conditions after passing a peak current greater than 20 kA. This paper describes the results of tests performed to obtain a wide variety of characteristics, including V/I characteristic, ability to share current, and ability to recover when a reverse voltage is applied


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J.A. Pappas, S.P. Pish, and M.J. Salinas, “Characterization of triggered vacuum switches for high current operation,” IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, vol. 35, no. 1, January 1999, pp. 367-371.