A high power, solid state power supply is described for producing a controllable, constant high voltage output under varying and arcing loads suitable for powering an electron beam gun or other ion source. The present power supply is most useful for outputs in a range of about 100-400 kW or more. The power supply is comprised of a plurality of discrete switching type dc-dc converter modules, each comprising a voltage regulator, an inductor, an inverter for producing a high frequency square wave current of alternating polarity, an improved inverter voltage clamping circuit, a step up transformer, and an output rectifier for producing a dc voltage at the output of each module. The inputs to the converter modules are fed from a common dc rectifier/filter and are linked together in parallel through decoupling networks to suppress high frequency input interactions. The outputs of the converter modules are linked together in series and connected to the input of the transmission line to the load through a decoupling and line matching network. The dc-dc converter modules are phase activated such that for n modules, each module is activated equally 360.degree./n out of phase with respect to a successive module. The phased activation of the converter modules, combined with the square current waveforms out of the step up transformers, allows the power supply to operate with greatly reduced output capacitance values which minimizes the stored energy available for discharge into an electron beam gun or the like during arcing. The present power supply also provides dynamic response to varying loads by controlling the voltage regulator duty cycle using simulated voltage feedback signals and voltage feedback loops. Circuitry is also provided for sensing incipient arc currents reflected at the output of the power supply and for simultaneously decoupling the power supply circuitry from the arcing load.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.