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DOE SBIR Phase I/II: A Robust Modular IGBT Power Supply for Innovative Confinement Concepts

A present challenge facing the fusion energy community and particularly the ICC community in its support of the main line tokamak program is the ability to generate increased power levels for pulsed magnets, arc plasma sources, radio frequency heating, and current drive schemes, at reasonable cost. Continuous wave (CW) tube based power supplies are typically large and expensive, making them prohibitive for smaller experimental facilities or not cost effective when only pulsed input power is required. Continued research and development of next generation solid state power supplies could allow for multiple applications with a single well developed, low cost module that could be configured in many ways. The proposed work will continue to develop, build, and test a modular solid state power supply based on Insulate Gate Bi-polar Transistor (IGBT) technologies, technologies that have seen a dramatic increases in operational parameters over the past decade.

In this effort, Eagle Harbor Technologies would continue the Phase I work, which successfully developed a modular, low cost, high power IGBT based system that can be assembled in multiple ways to address a wide range of applications. In the Phase I program a low cost IGBT modular system prototype was successfully modeled, designed, built, and bench tested. The testing results demonstrated the prototype could be arranged in both parallel and series configurations for both high current and/or high voltage operation. The prototype cost was shown to be significantly lower than older generation power supplies for similar applications. In the Phase II work plan we will upgrade the Phase I IGBT modular prototype and fully characterize its nominal operational parameters in preparation for commercialization of the system. Additionally, two full power supply units that represent the greatest need to the ICC community will be built and tested to demonstrate system performance and cost benefit.

There are a large number of applications where a suitable low cost, highly configurable, high current, high voltage, solid state pulsed power supply would be beneficial. These include the noted applications in the fusion science community including wave heating schemes, active feedback and control for plasma stabilization systems, current drive, plasma arc sources and ignitron replacements. Other areas of interest include suitable pulsed power supplies for linear accelerators, high voltage trigger systems, in-space electric thrusters, pulse width modulation amplification, and semiconductor fabrication applications.

The EHT Integrated Power Module was commercialized as the result of this SBIR Program.