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High Voltage Switches

Due to advances in semiconductor technologies, solid-state high voltage switches can now substitute thyratrons, ignitrons, spark gaps and electromechanical high voltage relays. Four main technologies are available covering 1kV – 140kV and 15A – 16kA:

  • IGBT
  • MCT
  • SCR

TTL control input and low power electronics replace expensive heater supplies and drivers found in older systems. PPM supply a range of 300 standard devices manufactured by Behlke as well as custom designs.

Find the component you are looking for in the table below or call us on 01793 784389 and talk to one of our technical sales team.

Extreme rise and fall times

The Behlke solid-state switches have extreme rise and fall times. If your application does not require the full switching speed we suggest you the use the speed limiting option S-TT (rise & fall times slower by approx. 50%) in combination with the input low pass filter option LP. The speed limiting options help to minimise the high frequency difficulties typical for fast high voltage pulse circuits  e.g. self-oscillating, self re-triggering, ringing and simplify the EMC design in general.

Using a free-wheeling diode network to prevent reverse currents

Fast solid-state switches are sensitive to reverse currents from unclamped inductive load or from excessive wiring inductance. Reverse currents may turn on the slow intrinsic (parasitic) FET diodes in an undefined way and can lead to a catastrophic switch failure especially during the turn-off phase in combination with high turn-off currents. Therefore it is recommended to combine FET switches with a fast free-wheeling diode network (fast serial blocking diode + parallel fast free-wheeling diode), when inductive load or highly inductive wiring is connected to the switch. A protective diode network can be implemented externally using single diodes or integrated with the switching module as option I-FWDN. Please discuss with PPM Power technical support form more information.

For more information about high voltage switches please see choosing a high voltage switch.

Fixed On-Time Switches

 On-Time DescriptionMaximum VoltageMaximum CurrentSwitch On-time
Fixed thyristor/SCR switchesCurrent Depending4 - 150 kV1 - 16 kA> 35 us
General Purpose Fixed MOSFET SwitchesFixed4 - 150 kV15 - 200 A100 - 300 ns
Low Impedance MOSFET SwitchesFixed0.5 - 40 kV70 - 1600 A150 ns
Ultra-Fast MOSFET SwitchesFixed3 - 12 kV60 - 200 A120 - 200 ns
Low On-Resistance Fixed MOSFET SwitchesFixed3 - 24 kV60 - 1040 A150 - 250 ns

Variable On-Time Switches

 On-Time DescriptionMaximum VoltageMaximum CurrentSwitch On-time
General Purpose Variable MOSFET SwitchesVariable0.5 - 36 kV12 - 640 A> 50 ns
High di/dt MOSFET SwitchesVariable3 - 36 kV200 - 3200 A> 300 ns
Low Capacitance MOSFET SwitchesVariable3 - 140 kV30 - 800 A> 60 ns
Low On-Resistance Variable MOSFET SwitchesVariable0.5 - 21.6 kV125 - 3750 A> 150 ns
AC MOSFET SwitchesVariable1.2 - 36 kV12 - 130 A> 50 ns
General Purpose IGBT SwitchesVariable3 - 36 kV800 - 9600 A> 0.2 us
Variable Thyristor/MCT SwitchesVariable4 - 18 kV3 kA> 1 us
Push-Pull MOSFET SwitchesVariable2x 1.2 - 140 kV2x 12 - 200 A> 50 ns
Pulser SwitchesVariable(2x) 3 - 12 kV(2x) 15 - 80 A> 50 ns

Pulsed Power Switch Assemblies

 On-Time DescriptionMaximum VoltageMaximum CurrentCurrent Rise Rate
Pulsed Power StacksVariable30 kV20 - 50 kA10 - 30 kA/us

Solid-state DC breakers

Part no.DescriptionVoltageMax nominal current
AA-10411-10xSolid-state DC Breaker1kV500A up to 5000A




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More Information?

Telephone +44 (0)1793 784389 or email: sales@ppm.co.uk