Semiconductor Switches replace Thyratrons & Ignitrons

Adriaan Welleman, Esie Ramezani, Ulrich Schlapbach
ABB Semiconductors AG

A solid state switching system is presented which shows a reliable, long life, low maintenance, high voltage and high di/dt switch assembly. The solid state system explained is using reverse conducting semiconductor devices with fully integrated very fast triggering driving units, the required power source and optical triggering device. By using different silicon wafer sizes, and devices in series connection, blocking voltages of over 30 kVdc can be reached in combinations with current pulses of up to 100 kA with very high di/dt's, with repetition rates of several hundred Hertz are possible. The solid state system has no environmental restrictions, and is designed to be used as replacement for thyratrons and ignitrons, but can be used for several other applications. Information about availablity, life-time expectations, field experience and cost comparison are also given.

Presenting Author : Welleman A.