Capacitor Charging Questions

Capacitor Charging QuestionsAnswers to common
Capacitor Charging Questions

The most common method of pumping solid-state pulsed lasers is still through the use of flashlamps which receive energy from the discharge of a high energy storage capacitor. In such systems the job of the capacitor charging power supplies are used to repeatedly charge a given capacitance to a specific voltage.  Some commonly asked capacitor charging questions and answers are:

1) How long will it take to charge a given capacitance to a specific voltage with a particular supply?

Answer:Capacitor charging questions - Charge time


Where charge time is in seconds, C is the capacitance in Farads, V is the voltage in Volts, and ramp power is expressed in Joules per second. To be conservative, the average power rating can be used in place of the ramp power rating.

2) What is the maximum pulse repetition rate I can operate at with a given supply?

Answer:Capacitor charging questions - Maximum repetition rate

Where rep. rate is in Hertz, C is in Farads, V is in Volts, and average power is expressed in Watts.

The ramp and average power ratings of a power supply are both functions of the operating output voltage expressed as a percentage of the maximum output voltage. In other words, a supply that can deliver 1000J/s with an output voltage of 1000V will deliver appreciably less power with an output voltage of 200V. It is important to understand these limitations when applying these equations and when considering the purchase of a power supply. The power delivery capabilities of AMI power supplies have been fully characterized and this information is expressed in the form of Power Derating Curves which plot normalized available power (actual power as a percentage of maximum power) as function of normalized operating voltage (actual voltage as a percentage of maximum voltage).

3) For a given application, how much input supply current will be required from a single-phase service?

Answer:Capacitor charging questions - input current

Where I input is in Amps (rms), output power is in Watts, power factor and efficiency are expressed as fractions, and the input voltage is in Volts (rms)

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AMI’s line of  Capacitor Charging Power Supplies

Capacitor Charging QuestionsOur cap chargers provide unequaled performance in a variety of package configurations. These supplies provide the highest power density and best voltage vs. power curve available on the market today. AMI’s power supplies are ideal for medical and industrial solid state pumping applications. They are CE marked and certified to UL60601-1.  A catalog listing of our capacitor charging power supplies with links to individual Data Sheets (PDF Format) are available here.
AMI’s standard products represent statements of capability.  Most of the capacitor charging power supplies AMI sells for OEM production are customized to meet the requirements of the end use.  Please contact AMI today to discuss the specific requirements of your application.

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