A compact, solid state, high voltage switch capable of high conduction current with a high rate of current risetime (high di/dt) that can be used to replace thyratrons in existing and new applications. The switch has multiple thyristors packaged in a single enclosure. Each thyristor has its own gate drive circuit that circuit obtains its energy from the energy that is being switched in the main circuit. The gate drives are triggered with a low voltage, low current pulse isolated by a small inexpensive transformer. The gate circuits can also be triggered with an optical signal, eliminating the trigger transformer altogether. This approach makes it easier to connect many thyristors in series to obtain the hold off voltages of greater than 80 kV.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. DE-FG02-00ER82948, awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.