Testing the 60 MJ Pulsed Homopolar Power Supply at the University of Texas, Center for Electromechanics
The Center for Electromechanics at the University of Texas at Austin (CEM-UT) has successfully designed, built, and tested homopolar generators (HPGs) since 1972. These machines exhibit high energy storage densities and are capable of converting stored inertial energy to electrical energy at extremely high power levels. This feature makes them well suited for a wide range of applications including thermonuclear fusion, resistance welding, pulse sintering, and electromagnetic launchers. In December 1988, CEM-UT along with Parker Kinetic Designs, Inc. (PKD) completed acceptance testing of the latest in this technology: the Balcones 60 MJ pulsed homopolar generator power supply (BHPG). This power supply is presently capable of producing 9 MA at 100 V. This paper describes the BHPG systems and operating characteristics. Data is presented from commissioning short circuit tests for the six generator system, including single and multiple generator tests, as well as system performance levels during railgun solid armature tests.