Solid-state technologies offer more potential than conventional gas-powered and oil-powered options. As these technologies become more prevalent, it’s important to know the specific benefits they can generate for your industry and organization.
At Stangenes Industries, we specialize in creating and developing cutting-edge transformer designs, solid-state modulators, and charging power supplies that can make those benefits a reality. Learn more about how emerging solid-state technology can power your organization’s operations and how our team can help you do it.
What Is Solid State?
Solid-state systems and devices rely on electronics for switching functions, like diodes and transistors, rather than older systems that rely on oil or gas as a power source. Today’s solid-state devices (SSDs) have semiconductors—made from gallium nitride, germanium, silicon, and silicon carbide—that can handle programmable operations and complex functions far beyond the capabilities of the first solid-state systems of the middle of the 20th century.
These systems are starting to replace older technologies in every sector. In high-voltage systems, for example, organizations are removing thyratrons, spark gaps, and magnetic switches with SSDs like HCTs, IGCTs, IGBTs, and MOSFETs.
Solid-state technology is characterized by:
- Electrical power
- Switching functions performed by diodes and transistors
- The potential to convert from AC to DC by using diodes as rectifiers
Why Is Solid State Better?
While newer facilities and organizations often start their journey with solid-state technology, many older facilities or operations continue to employ older technologies like pulse forming networks (PFNs), or gas based switches.
On the surface, sticking with these older technologies can be tempting—making the switch is temporarily inconvenient and can require a lot of readjustments. However, virtually every organization benefits by updating their systems to solid-state technologies and phasing out gas- and oil-powered systems.
Benefits of Solid-State Technology
Solid-state technology offers more than a change in mechanics. It increases the operational capabilities of systems by increasing power and programmable logic. SSDs are also far more accessible than many alternatives.
Old, gas-powered modulators used to be the norm in many systems. However, many companies no longer produce these parts, making them harder to find, more expensive to replace, and even harder to repair. This is made even more challenging because old, gas-powered components were also manufactured through processes that are not considered sustainable—the gasses degrade into hazardous component gasses.
SSDs, on the other hand, are rapidly becoming more popular and available, increasing companies’ access to parts, repair systems, and replacement systems on the market. The growing market also allows for companies to source components from multiple sources, which helps shield companies from market fluctuations and product obsolescence.
While older systems may be more powerful than a single silicone switch, today’s SSDs feature multiple stackable switches that provide comparable power and more reliable performance. The increased market for higher powered switches drives innovation and research to develop even better products with newer materials.
Programmable logic is more flexible than previous transistor based logic components, and runs on smaller devices. It uses parameter logic to make computations, and the system grants far more flexibility because different operations and sequences can be programmed in. This is superior to hardwired standard logic, which was far more inflexible.
Other Benefits of SSDs
Other benefits of choosing solid state technology over alternatives include:
- Durability: Solid-state technology is more durable because it doesn’t rely on moving parts that can wear out or fail to connect. While chemical exposure, impact damage, and high levels of heat can damage SSDs, they don’t have the additional long-term vulnerabilities of more conventional technologies.
- Compactness: SSDs also take up less space. Modern solid-state computers are dramatically slimmer than older computers. Similarly, high-energy density, surface-mounted through-hole components like modern diodes and resistors are much smaller than older components, resulting in smaller circuit boards and assemblies. This means more computing power can fit in less space.
- Efficiency: Solid-state equipment wastes less energy in the form of excess heat and light than other technologies. Many systems may still require heat sinks as they generate some excess heat, but more of the input power generates efficient output.
Potential Drawbacks of SSDs
Although SSDs have become increasingly popular due to their smaller size and faster performance, they do have some limitations in high-powered applications. While most of the electronic world is moving to smaller, faster devices, there is still a need for high-voltage and high-current devices. Currently there is no single device that can fully replace a spark gap or thyratron, only multi-component systems. As more research is put into SSDs, the industry must demonstrate the need for these higher-power devices and invest in researching solutions that can bridge the gap between current SSD capabilities and the demands of high-powered applications.
Industries That Utilize Solid-State Technology
Solid state technology is used in virtually every sector, from the military to consumer goods. At Stangenes Technologies, we serve the following industries with innovative solid-state solutions:
- Military: We provide military organizations with solid-state modulator systems that include a power rack, a Klystron tank, a modulator cabinet, and a modulator control unit cabinet.
- Medical: We provide compact Klystron and magnetron solid-state modulators. These are used by medical facilities for direct energy therapies.
- Research: Our engineering team is currently developing replacement solid-state technologies for thyratron switches in pulse-forming networks.
- General Industry: Companies can turn to our solid-state modulators for food decontamination processes, scanning, and more.
Contact Stangenes Technologies for Your Solid State Technology Needs
Upgrading to solid-state technology doesn’t just increase performance and flexibility. It can also help organizations solve the increasing prices and rarity of parts for older systems. Contact the team at Stangenes Technologies to learn more about converting to solid-state technology, or request a quote for more details.