Pulsed power

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Pulsed power is the science and technology of accumulating energy over a relatively long period of time and releasing it very quickly, thus increasing the instantaneous power.

Overview[edit]

Energy is typically stored within electrostatic fields (capacitors), magnetic fields (inductors), as mechanical energy (using large flywheels connected to special-purpose high-current alternators), or as chemical energy (high-current lead-acid batteries, or explosives). By releasing the stored energy over a very short interval (a process that is called energy compression), a huge amount of peak power can be delivered to a load. For example, if one joule of energy is stored within a capacitor and then evenly released to a load over one second, the average power delivered to the load would only be 1 watt. However, if all of the stored energy were released within one microsecond, the average power over one second would still be one watt, but the instantaneous peak power would be one megawatt, a million times greater. Pulsed power technology is used in radar, particle accelerators, ultrastrong magnetic fields, fusion research, electromagnetic pulses, and high-power pulsed lasers.

History[edit]

Pulsed Power was first developed during World War II for use in radar. Radar requires short high-power pulses. After the war, development continued in other applications, leading to the super pulsed power machines at Sandia National Laboratories.

See also[edit]

Manufacturers[edit]

  • ABB Pulsed Power Manufacturer of semiconductor-based replacements for thyratrons