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Dokumentenidentifikation EP0973249 24.02.2000
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0973249
Titel Inhärent stabilisierter Gleichhochspannungsgenerator
Anmelder High Voltage Engineering Europa B.V., Amersfoort, NL
Erfinder Mous, Dirk J.W., 3433 EB Nieuwegein, NL
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, CY, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, IE, IT, LI, LU, MC, NL, PT, SE
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 14.07.1998
EP-Aktenzeichen 982023582
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 19.01.2000
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 24.02.2000
IPC-Hauptklasse H02M 7/10
IPC-Nebenklasse H02M 3/28   

Beschreibung[en]

The invention relates to a DC high voltage generator comprising an AC power supply, an AC-DC rectifier, as well as means for stabilising said DC high voltage generator against load variations. Such DC high voltage generators are well known and capable of producing DC voltages ranging from a few kV up to several MV. In particular, but not limited thereto, such DC high voltage generators are used to operate linear accelerators in which ions, electrons or other charged particles are accelerated to high energies. Beside the need for a DC high voltage, some applications of linear accelerators like electron irradiation, ion implantation and positron emission tomography (PET), ask for the availability of high output powers, ranging from a few hundred Watt up to several tens of kW and above. All these applications have in common that the power from the DC high voltage generator is used to accelerate a charged particle beam originating from a suitable source.

Today, DC high voltage generators usually apply an all solid state high frequency (typically 20-200 kHz) switched mode power (SMP) converter that supplies AC power to an AC-DC rectifier comprising one or more cascade rectifiers which in turn creates the DC high output voltage. An interface between the converter and the AC-DC rectifier generally comprises a transformer, a coil and possibly additional passive electrical components in order to match the converter' s impedance to that of the cascade rectifier.

In some applications, the AC-DC rectifier(s) is extended with an electrical resonant circuit to form a high voltage stack. Examples of DC high voltage generators that apply such a resonant circuit are the "Dynamitron" (see e.g. IEEE Trans. Nucl Sci. NS-16 (3) (1969),124), the "Cascade transformer high voltage generator" (US Patent 3,596,167), the "Nested high voltage generator" (US patent 5,124,658) and a Cockcroft-Walton high voltage power supply (see e.g. IEEE Trans. Nucl Sci. NS-16 (3) (1969),117).

However, the sources referred to above are unavoidably susceptible to sudden discharges in which case the charged particle beam disappears instantaneously and the needed output power is promptly reduced to nearly zero. Consequently, these applications, among others, require an optimal transient behaviour of the DC high voltage generator.

It is well known to those skilled in the art that the output power of such DC high voltage generators is determined by the duty cycle of the switching devices in the converter, regardless of the application of one of the described resonant circuits. During variations in load, the output voltage of the generator is kept constant by regulating the duty cycle.

A drawback of such an output voltage control is that transient behaviour depends on the performance of the feedback-loop and consequently overshoot and/or undershoot during transients are fundamentally unavoidable.

Another drawback of the known high frequency, high power DC generators is that switching losses present in the converter may become unacceptable if no appropriate measures are taken. One possibility to eliminate these switching losses is to operate the converter in zero voltage switching mode (ZVS). ZVS is characterised in that the turn-on and turn-off of the switching devices is done at moments at which the voltage across the corresponding switching devices is close to zero. However, ZVS requires an inductive load to be present at the converter's output.

The performance of DC high voltage generators would therefore greatly benefit from an electrical design which inherently stabilises the DC output voltage for optimal transient behaviour and which furthermore enables the switching power converter to be operated in zero voltage switching mode to virtually eliminate switching losses.

It is the main purpose of the present invention to create a DC high voltage generator with optimal transient behaviour. It is also the purpose of the present invention to realise such an electrical design in a cost-effective manner. In addition to this, the present invention enables the AC power supply to operate without swtiching losses and eliminates problems associated with the leakage inductance and interwinding output capacitance of the transformer.

In order to accomplish these goals, a DC high voltage generator of the type mentioned in the preamble according to the invention is characterized in that said stabilising means stabilise said DC high voltage generator by using at least two electro-magnetically coupled resonant circuits compensating each others load variation dependency at an operating frequency in such a way that the output voltage is essentially constant. This provides an inherent stabilisation of the DC output voltage of the DC high voltage generator during transient conditions.

In a prefered embodiment according to the invention said stabilising means consist exclusively of passive components, such as inductors and capacitors, and form an interface between the AC power supply and the AC-DC rectifier. In general a DC high voltage generator comprises a transformer and according to the invention at least one passive component may be an integral part of this transformer.

These passive components create a well defined inductive load at the converter's output, which enables the converter to operate without switching losses.

Thereto said AC power supply, which in general comprises a high frequency switching power converter, which may comprise BJTs, MOSFETs, IGBTs IGCTs or MCTs being the switching devices, in a preferred embodiment according to the invention operates in zero voltage switching mode.

Said AC-DC rectifier can be extended (coupled) with a resonant circuit to form a high voltage stack, and may be of the "Dynamitron", the "Nested high voltage generator", the "Cockroft-Walton type voltage multipliers or the " Cascade transformer high voltage generator" type. In that case the high voltage stack incorporates one of the at least two electro magnetically coupled resonant circuits.

The present invention may be more fully understood from the following detailed description of the prefered embodiments, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

  • Figure 1 shows an electrical schematic of the preferred embodiment related to the present invention.
  • Figure 2 shows the same schematic in which essential components are shown in more detail.
  • Figure 3 is a graph which shows the output voltage Vstack and the voltage-current phase difference &phis; of the converter-output as a function of the output power.

With reference to Figure 1 is shown an electrical schematic of the preferred embodiment. An AC power supply (1) in the form of a phase-controlled H-bridge converter comprises four switching devices S1 through S4, and a control circuit (2). In such a topology, S1 & S2 are known to form one leg of the converter and are alternatively switched on and off. Similarly, S3 & S4 form the second leg of the converter. The effective output voltage of the converter that is present between terminals a&b is controlled by changing the phase between the two legs of the converter. Any available power switching devices with proper specifications can be applied in this configuration. Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs), Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs), Metal Oxide Silicon Field Effect Transistors (MOSFETs), Mos Controlled Thyristors (MCTs) or Integrated Gate Commutated Thyristors (IGCTs) are present candidates for the switching devices.

An output transformer (3) is usually applied to match the current-voltage ratio of the AC power supply (1) to that of The AC-DC rectifier (7). It is readily understood by those skilled in the art that the switching power converter, which is characterised in that it has a high power-frequency product, is preferably operated in zero voltage switching (ZVS) mode, in which switching losses are essentially reduced to zero. However, ZVS requires that the zero crossings of the converter output current are lagging the zero crossings of the output voltage, which implies a dominantly inductive load at the converter output (terminals a&b in figure 1).

Referring again to figure 1, the AC-DC rectifier (7) is extended by a resonant circuit comprising at least one capacitor (5) Cstack and one inductor (6) Lstack, to form a high voltage stack (4). By choosing the operating frequency at or close to the resonance frequency ω0 of the high voltage stack (4), which equals (Cstack&peseta; Lstack)-1/2 for the circuit shown in figure 1, a high AC voltage can be created across terminals e&f. A AC-DC rectifier (7) connected to these terminals is used to create the DC high output voltage at terminal (8), which is essentially a fixed multiple of the peak voltage present at the terminals e&f. It should be noted that the described high voltage stack (4) is meant for illustration purposes only. Often, the chosen combination of the resonant circuit and the cascade rectifier (7) will be more complex and can be based on one of the principles mentioned in one of the foregoing sections. However, all possible high voltage stacks that can be applied in conjunction with the preferred embodiment of the present invention have in common that they operate at or close to a well defined resonance frequency and that they apply at least one cascade rectifier (7) for the generation of a DC high voltage. The description of such high voltage stacks is beyond the scope of this writing.

In figure 2 the cascade rectifier (7) is replaced by a load resistor (9) Rload for the purpose of simplicity only. It shows that the present invention comprises an inductor (10) Linterface and a capacitor (11) Cinterface forming together a second resonant circuit being the interface (12) between the AC power supply (1) and the high voltage stack (4). With the application of such an interface (12) the transfer-function H which is defined as: H = Vstack/Vconverter can be calculated, with reference to figure 2: H = H1&peseta;H2 in which:

H1
= Vinterface/Vconverter
H2
=Vstack/Vinterface
Vconverter
= the voltage at A
Vinterface
= the voltage at B
Vstack
= the voltage at C
H1 = (ZCinterface//Zstack) / (ZLinterface+ZCinterface//Zstack) = (ZCinterface&peseta;Zstack) / (ZCinterface&peseta;Zstack+ZLinterface&peseta;(ZCinterface+Zstack)) in which:
//
denotes a parallel connection of two impedances.
Zstack
= the impedance of the high voltage stack present at terminals c&d

= Zout+1 /(jωCstack)
ω
= 2.π.frequency
ZLinterface
= the impedance of Linterface (10)

= jωLinterface
ZCinterface
= the impedance of Cinterface (11)

= 1 /(jωCinterface)
H2 = Zout/Zstack in which:
Zout
= the impedance formed by the parallel connection of Rload (9) and Lstack (6) present at the terminals e&f.

= jωLstack • Rload / (jωLstack + Rload)
H = H1 &peseta; H2 = ZCinterface&peseta;Zout/(ZCinterface&peseta;Zstack+ZLinterface&peseta;(ZCinterface+Zstack))

Under resonance conditions and for relatively low output powers one finds: Rload >> (JωLstack) or Zout ∼ ZLstack in which:

ZLstack
= the impedance of Lstack (6)

= jωLstack
and

Zstack ∼ 0,    which gives: H = Zout/Zinterface = ZLstack/ZLinterface = jωLstack/jωLinterface = Lstack/Linterface

An important feature of the present invention can be seen from equation 1, which shows that under resonance conditions and relatively low output power, the voltage Vstack at C is essentially a constant. Because the DC output voltage is a fixed multiple of Vstack, it also implies that the DC output voltage is, within limits, essentially independent of the output power and therefore inherently stable during transient conditions.

To illustrate this more strongly, figure 3 gives a graph which shows the relative output voltage Vef and the voltage-current phase difference &phis;ab of the converter-output (terminals a&b in fig. 2) as a function of the output power Pef. Note that Vef = Vstack . In the calculations the following input parameters and assumptions were used, which gives an operating frequency close to 100 kHz.

Linterface
= 1.0 milli Henry
Cinterface
= 2.5 nano Farad
Lstack
= 30 milli Henry
Cstack
= 85 pico Farad
Vconverter
= 1 kV RMS

The operating frequency is adjusted to give a constant 20 degrees capacitive phase at the input terminals of the high voltage stack (terminals c&d in figure 2). It is readily recognised by those skilled in the art that this assumption resembles a practical situation in which the operating frequency is set by controlling the input phase of the high voltage stack.

Referring again to figure 3, it illustrates essential features of the present invention in that:

  • Vef is essentially constant (3% variation in this example) for a wide range in output powers, which makes the DC output voltage of the high voltage generator essentially independent of the output power. This in turn implies optimal transient behaviour.
  • The voltage-current phase difference &phis;ab of the converter-output is positive under all output power conditions: the phase difference &phis;ab is lagging in all cases. This implies that, by the application of the interface circuit, the capacitive load of the high voltage stack (terminals c&d in figure 2) is transferred to an inductive load present at the converter's output (terminals a&b in figure 2), regardless of the output power of the high voltage stack. This enables the switching power converter to be operated in zero voltage switching mode, in which switching losses are essentially zero.

In this example both the resonance frequency of the high voltage stack as well as that of the interface circuit are chosen to be equal. However, in a practical design these two resonance frequencies can be chosen sligthly different to give an optimal adjustment of the transient behaviour as well as the zero voltage switching performance.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the positions of Linterface (10) and Cinterface (11) in the interface (12) circuit are not limited to that shown in figure 2. Although not being the layout of the preferred embodiment, an interface (12) circuit in which the position of Linterface (10) and Cinterface (11) are interchanged will function in essentially the same manner as the interface (12) circuit shown in figure 2. The same holds for the high voltage stack (4), in which the positions of Lstack (5) and Cstack (6) can be interchanged if desired, without offending its essential functionality.

It is another important feature of the present invention that it offers means to eliminate problems associated with the inevitable leakage inductance and the parasitic interwinding output capacitance present in the high voltage output transformer (3). Without the presence of the interface (12) circuit, the leakage inductance and interwinding capacitance will result in reduced available output power and unwanted oscillations at the output terminals of the transformer (3), both of which degrade the performance of the entire DC high voltage generator. For those skilled in the art it is readily understood that with the application of the present interface (12) circuit such problems are no longer existing because the leakage inductance and the interwinding capacitance can be thought to be an integral part of the interface (12) circuit. Hence the inevitable parasitic elements are made beneficial to the overall system performance.

In fact, it is readily recognised by those skilled in the art that a proper geometric design of the output transformer (3) will create a leakage inductance Lleak that equals the inductance of Linterface (10) in the interface (12) circuit. In that case the inductor Linterface (10) will not be physically present, but will be an integral part of the power converter's output transformer (3), which reduces costs and complexity.


Anspruch[en]
  1. A DC high voltage generator comprising an AC power supply (1), an AC-DC rectifier (7), as well as means for stabilising said DC high voltage generator against load variations, characterized in that said stabilising means stabilise said DC high voltage generator by using at least two electro-magnetically coupled resonant circuits (5, 6; 10, 11) compensating each others load variation dependency at an operating frequency in such a way that the output voltage is essentially constant.
  2. A DC high voltage generator according to claim 1, wherein said stabilising means consist exclusively of passive components.
  3. A DC high voltage generator according to claim 2, wherein said passive components comprise at least one inductor (10) and at least one capacitor (11).
  4. A DC high voltage generator according to any of the preceding claims 1-3, wherein said stabilising means form an interface (12) between said AC power supply (1) and said AC-DC rectifier (7).
  5. A DC high voltage generator according to any of the preceding claims 1-4, wherein said AC power supply (1) comprises a transformer (3).
  6. A DC high voltage generator according to claim 5 referring to claim 2, wherein at least one of said passive components is an integral part of said transformer (3).
  7. A DC high voltage generator according to any of the preceding claims 1-6, wherein said AC power supply (1) comprises a high frequency switching power converter.
  8. A DC high voltage generator according to claim 7, wherein said high frequency switching power converter comprises BJTs, MOSFETs, IGBTs IGCTs or MCTs being the switching devices.
  9. A DC high voltage generator according to claim 7 or 8, wherein said high frequency switching power converter operates in zero voltage switching mode.
  10. A DC high voltage generator according to any of the preceding claims 1-9, wherein said AC-DC rectifier (7) is coupled with one of the resonant circuits comprising at least one capacitor (5) and at least one inductor (6) to form a high voltage stack (4).
  11. A DC high voltage generator according to any of the preceding claims 1-9, wherein the resonant circuit (5,6) is part of an interface (12) between said AC power supply (1) and said AC-DC rectifier (7).
  12. A DC high voltage generator according to claim 10, wherein the principle of said high voltage stack (4) is based on high voltage stacks in DC high voltage generators chosen from the group consisting of: the "Dynamitron", the "Nested high voltage generator", the "Cockroft-Walton type voltage multiplier" and the "Cascade transformer high voltage generator".
  13. Method for stabilising a DC high voltage generator against load variations according to any of the preceding claims 1-12, characterized in that at frequency in such a way that the output voltage is essentially constant.






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