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Understanding the Role of Power Supplies in RF Systems

RF energy sources generate high-frequency electromagnetic fields. Though they’re commonly used in communications applications, RF power supply systems can power a wide range of applications through both transformer and transformerless options. 

These high-frequency electromagnetic fields resonate inside cavities to generate specific signals, frequencies, and secondary fields. In particle accelerators, for example, RF cavities can accelerate particles at very specific increments through a strong electric field. 

Learn more about the various applications of RF power supplies, their roles in RF systems, and how Stangenes can help with your next RF system project. 


Applications of RF Power Supply

RF energy was primarily used in communications contexts, but today’s RF power supplies apply to a wide range of industrial and government applications. Some of the most impactful uses of RF power supply are the following:


RF power supplies find crucial applications in the medical field, playing a pivotal role in various diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. These power supplies are integral components in technologies like MRI machines, where they facilitate the generation of the high-frequency magnetic fields necessary for imaging soft tissues with exceptional clarity and precision. Other medical applications include delivering precise doses of radiation in medical radiation therapy.


Military organizations around the world use RF power supplies to use a wide range of communications tools and technology, including lasers, radars, directed energy devices, and more. RF power supplies are also used in Active Denial Systems, which are long-range and non-lethal beams of waves for counter-personnel applications. Large pulse transformers in RF systems can generate 1.5MV 1800 A capabilities for charging capacitors used in flash X-ray photography.


RF power supplies are important in particle accelerator facilities, as they excite particles to specific levels and accelerations for experiments. Researchers also use RF to generate particle beams and test their effects on different materials and material prototypes.


Manufacturers use RF power supplies to produce and finish specialty goods by generating an electron beam. The beam can alter materials during the manufacturing stage to change their characteristics, apply surface-level finishes, and more. RF power supplies also play a role in air and gas containment systems.


The Relationship Between RF Energy Systems and Power Supply

RF energy systems rely on a stable power supply that won’t fluctuate or cause disruptions. Electronics depend on a well-regulated, filtered power supply with the right components to eliminate interference with no risk of noise or uncontrolled variations in power strength; without these protective measures, the signal could distort, or power fluctuations could negatively impact performance. 

To achieve optimal RF stability and function, power supplies interconnect with RF energy system components like magnets, modulators, inductors, and transformers. Well-built power supplies will interact with these components to create the best possible signal and capabilities.


Magnets can focus, bend, and otherwise manipulate RF beams and detect activity within a magnetic field. The three most commonly used magnets are hollow tube, wire wound, and foil wound varieties. RF energy systems use magnets in applications like MRIs, which detect atomic-level behaviors.


High-voltage pulsed modulators send a modulated signal to a tube that amplifies that signal. These modulators are critical in directed energy applications, such as the linear accelerators that advance the fields of scientific research and medical oncology. Linear accelerators use high-voltage pulses to accelerate charged particles, which are then used to study materials at the molecular and atomic levels. 

These particle accelerators also play a key role in oncology by directing precise, high-energy X-ray beams to cancerous cells with minimal damage to healthy tissue. Thus, high-voltage pulsed power modulators help deliver more accurate radiation doses to patients while minimizing their side effects. Modulators rely on RF power supplies that generate the right voltage and current to activate and modulate the signal.


Inductors are components in RF circuits, such as resonators, amplifiers, and filters. They oppose changes in current levels (either increases or decreases) and can passively store energy.


Transformers use electromagnetic induction to move energy from one circuit to the next, typically increasing or decreasing voltage along the way. 

Transformers have different numbers of windings, which determines how much the voltage will change as the signal generates a magnetic field, induces a voltage in the secondary winding, and continues along the path. RF transformers are frequently used for the following:

  • Voltage step-up or step-down in electrical systems
  • Impedance matching so power can transfer efficiently across the transformer
  • Blocking DC while allowing AC continuity


Generating Powerful RF With Stangenes

Stangenes specializes in creating high-performance RF power systems and components. One of our signature products is our large pulse transformer, which can generate very large pulses of RF, up to 1.5MV 1800 A. This transformer has a wide range of applications, including:

  • Charging capacitors for flash X-ray photography
  • Photographic nuclear detonation
  • Other uses that require extremely powerful Klystron-created beams

Choosing the right transformer for RF systems is essential for generating precise signals with the right strength and stability.


RF Power Supply Systems From Stangenes

RF power supplies are a critical part of every RF system. They must generate concentrated fields to provide the right level of power for niche applications. At Stangenes Industries, Incorporated, we design and develop RF power supply systems for applications ranging from nuclear detonators to material research. 

Request a quote today to access the right RF power supply tools for your systems.


What Is a Capacitive Voltage Divider?

A voltage divider is a type of passive linear circuit generating an output voltage that is a fraction of the input voltage. It’s possible to create these circuits using fixed-value resistors or reactive components. 

The Stangenes offering of capacitive voltage dividers are specially created for diagnostic and monitoring applications, also commonly referred to as voltage monitors. These components can take a multi-kilovolt signal and output a low voltage signal that can be read on oscilloscopes and other monitoring devices. 


Introduction to Capacitive Voltage Dividers

When deciding whether to use a capacitive voltage divider, understanding how it works can help.

Typically, when two interlinked circuit elements form a series, the input voltage divides through the elements. When circuit elements are interlinked but parallel, the electrical current will also normally split through the components. As a result, series circuits operate under the voltage divider rule while parallel circuits operate under the current divider rule.

Also called the potential divider rule, the voltage divider rule is crucial for analyzing circuits by helping calculate each element’s individual voltage. 

The elements of the circuit will dictate the category of the voltage divider rule, particularly these three categories:

  • Capacitive voltage divider
  • Resistive voltage divider
  • Inductive voltage divider


How Does a Capacitive Voltage Divider Work?

These devices work by connecting two capacitors in a series with a resistor. One capacitor receives the input voltage, while the other is grounded. You can modify the voltage ratio between both capacitors by changing their resistance values.

The electrical current travels through the divider via the resistors, forming an electrical field in the process. This field influences each capacitor’s charge and thus alters their respective voltages. The benefit of this operation is the ability to precisely control circuit voltage levels without any physical adjustment to the circuit elements.


Advantages and Disadvantages of a Capacitive Voltage Divider

Capacitive voltage dividers offer several key benefits and disadvantages.

Some of the advantages of these devices include:

  • Reduced resistance — Compared to resistors, capacitive voltage dividers have less resistance, meaning less dissipation of waste energy as heat.
  • Optimized accuracy and precision — Using a series of capacitors offers superior accuracy and precision compared to resistors and other dividers.
  • Low power consumption — Voltage divider capacitors need minimal power to function, which is why they’re ideal for low-voltage applications.

Meanwhile, some potential downsides of using capacitive voltage dividers could include:

  • More expensive than other types of dividers — Lower voltage capacitive dividers can be more costly than other types of dividers. Higher voltage resistive dividers can also be expensive.
  • Increased complexity — To get the best results from these dividers, it’s critical to carefully calculate and design them, which can limit their use in some applications.
  • Sensitivity to temperature fluctuations — Ambient temperature can significantly influence the divider output, potentially leading to inaccuracies. This is why Stangenes uses temperature-compensating components to reduce this effect.


Capacitive Voltage Dividers from Stangenes Industries 

Depending on your application, you may benefit from the use of a voltage divider capacitor. Stangenes Industries offers capacitive voltage dividers as well as compensated resistive voltage dividers in nearly any size or shape to meet your unique specifications. Our voltage dividers can be used for pulse voltages up to 800 kV, and we can custom-make units suitable for higher voltages. 

To learn more about our offerings or get started on an order, request a quote today!

How Is A Current Transformer (CT) Used In Metering?

Metering processes rely on having accurate insight into energy consumption across the grid. Energy providers need to know how much energy every attached residence, commercial property, or even individual portion of the grid is using to best keep up with demand and provide consistent service. 

Current transformers (CTs) provide this invaluable function with options like measuring RF beam current or measuring a filament current, which gives off measurable electrons after heating up.

There are multiple different CT options on the market, such as industrial-level meters that can measure current across national grids and more moderate CTs used by the electrical power industry to maintain local and regional functionalities. There are even residential and commercial KWh CTs used for net metering at 120V or 240V. 

At Stangenes, we specialize in industrial-level current transformers

Learn more about the importance of CTs in industrial-scale power systems, how they work, and how Stangenes can help with your next project.


Introduction to Current Transformers in Metering

Current transformer units  play a primary role in metering. These components can measure the total current flowing through a system, which equates to the downstream consumption within the grid or system. They primarily measure current via RF. After the energy transforms to RF, system operators can use the CTs to monitor flow, track changes, and stay apprised of real-time or aggregate consumption. Industrial-level current transformers are particularly vital because they can safely measure high levels of current. Depending on the inside diameter of the CT, it can also measure at high voltages of up to 100,000 V.


How Do Current Transformers Work in Metering?

Current transformers don’t directly measure the alternating current flowing through an industrial power grid. Often, the alternating current is too high, making it too difficult for the meter to read. Instead, the current flows through the system’s primary coil. As a result of the movement, it produces a magnetic field, which generates a proportionally lower current that flows through a secondary coil. 

Current transformers measure the current flowing through that secondary system to gauge the true consumption or current usage. 

Picture this general setup: a customer’s conductor provides the primary current through the circuit, which couples to the winding of the current transformer. The current transformer winding, which picks up the electromagnetic field’s current, is connected to a meter or measuring device which provides the data output. 

At Stangenes, our CTs connect with a conductor that passes through the center of the system to provide an accurate measurement of amps per volt.

Choosing the right CT products is essential for safe, accurate current monitoring and measuring. We advise that you consider the following:

  • CTs should focus on the induced current, which reduces the amount of current that flows through the meter.
  • The CT and metering apparatus should create a low-impedance path. This prevents loading on the primary conductor.
  • Current transformers need to measure the current without loading it. Using systems that measure the current in a secondary coil as a reflection of the current in the primary coil is best.
  • There are many different current transformers that can read meters, monitor small or national power grids, and provide continuous monitoring. Each device will need to meet specific criteria and ratings to ensure it can properly handle the current and voltage in the environment.


Applications of CT Metering

Industrial-level current transformer metering devices are used in the power industry to equip organizations with meter reading capabilities, as well as the ability to continuously monitor the power grid at large. 

At Stangenes, one of the most common applications for our current transformers is measuring current that flows into klystron and other electron tubes at high power levels. Our CTs can adjust to optimize output, detect wear and tear, and provide consistent monitoring for our clients. With these devices, users can ensure real-time performance aligns with expected performance and output.

Current Transformers in Beam Instrumentation and Particle Accelerators

CTs can also be used outside of the electric power industry. Additional applications include the following:

  • Accelerating and measuring electron beams in sophisticated systems like the CERN Hadron Collider
  • Measuring the current in particle beams, kick magnets, and pulsed power modulators in physics laboratories


Choose Stangenes Current Transformers for CT Metering

Measuring current is a vital step in generating and distributing electricity, ensuring consistent performance, and even completing complex physics experiments. 

Stangenes is a leading provider of high-performance current transformers that can provide long-lasting service in these applications. Our company is committed to creating innovative products that improve energy efficiency while reducing energy costs. 

Reach out today to learn more about our current transformers or to request a quote and start your order.

The Evolution and Future of Pulsed Power

Pulsed power is a technology that allows energy storage over an extended period followed by a much shorter, concentrated release of the energy. 

The technology delivers a pulse of energy that carries a significant amount of power to a target or recipient. Pulsed-power technology releases energy in a way that allows it to deliver substantial results from a relatively small amount of power. It can also have a distinct impact on certain materials, causing reactions that open up new fields of study relating to the technology and its interactions. 

As pulsed power evolves, the technology becomes less limited. Various industries and sectors rely on pulsed power, and the technology is emerging as a solution in several developing instrumentations.

Meeting the Limitations of Pulsed Power

Pulsed-power technology exists mostly in laboratory environments due to its limitations, which include the following:

  • Safety considerations
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Cost constraints
  • Limited scalability

Pulsed-power equipment is complicated and expensive, but recent advances in technology are making it more flexible and affordable. The technology demonstrates significant potential to revolutionize industries as it evolves.

An Evolution of Pulsed Power Technologies

Pulsed-power technology is evolving rapidly with diverse applications and uses in the changing landscape of applied physics. The technology is used in agriculture, plasma diagnostics and medicine, defense, materials, and energy sectors. Various devices depend on high-power electromagnetic pulse sources, including neutron pulses, lasers, microwaves, electron beams, and fusion technology.

Pulsed-power technology is a solution for sterilization, food processing, water treatment, waste purification, and surface treatment applications. Development focuses on addressing longevity in industrial applications, reliability, size, consistent power, and frequency repetition challenges while delivering higher power using refined devices.

The Potential of Pulsed Power: Looking to the Future

Pulsed power has the potential to disrupt a wide range of fields and make an impact on the world as a whole. Pulsed-power systems are improving in efficiency and becoming available for researchers in various fields of study. It is being researched as a potential solution for medical procedures, such as less energy-intensive X-ray machines, and as a more efficient means of water purification.

For example, researchers worldwide are studying pulsed power supply as a water purification solution. Using electric fields generated by pulsed power, scientists can develop systems to eliminate harmful viruses and bacteria, including those that resist antibiotics. The technology could revolutionize the creation of clean drinking water while consuming less energy.

Pulsed Power Systems From Stangenes

While pulsed power was once limited to laboratory environments, advances are reducing the limitations of complexity and cost of the equipment. 

Lower cost and complexity equipment have paved the way for developments in the technology, making it a more accessible solution for industries like agriculture, defense, and medicine. Scientists and engineers are working on pulsed power solutions for water purification, sterilization, and food processing applications. The technology is also improving in power, consistency, repetition, and overall device improvement. Pulsed power is disrupting industries as a potential solution to many issues, such as drinking water availability worldwide.

At Stangenes, we deliver pulsed power solutions to various industries. We strive to be a leader in pulsed power, leveraging our high voltage pulsed modulators and developing our parallel boost network to compensate for droop in long pulse applications. 

Stangenes offers several modulator combinations and configurations. Our Marx modulators come with dynamically adjustable pulse amplitudes, widths, and repetition rates. We offer flexible systems using a solid-state Marx design that works with or without a coupled pulse transformer. Stangenes’ high-voltage pulse modulators optimize pulse power application with their high-precision control. 

Request a quote to speak with a team member about the pulsed-power solution for your application.


Why Choose Solid State Technology?

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

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.

What is Pulsed Power?

Pulsed power is an enabling technology that offers an innovative solution to a wide range of cutting-edge applications. From automotive manufacturing and food processing to military equipment, medical treatments, and more, these short but powerful electrical pulses continue to find new uses across various industries.

At Stangenes Industries, Inc., we are a leading supplier of electromagnetic products, specializing in providing high-quality pulsed power solutions to customers in industries such as medical, military, research, energy, and more. Our high voltage pulse modulators offer reliability and flexibility for applications requiring longer pulse lengths and higher voltages.

What is Pulsed Power?

The science of pulsed power includes the collection of technology, experimental tools, and capabilities that explore concentrations of electrical energy in time and space and how the harnessing of this energy can be applied to multiple applications. To create high energy pulses, low-power electrical energy is stored in a bank of capacitors and released as short pulses with much higher power. The pulse’s duration is increasingly shortened to billionths of a second long. As the pulse is shortened at a steady pace, the power increases, resulting in a very short but potent burst of energy.

In other words, pulsed power involves the creation of short electrical pulses that are associated with very high electrical power, voltages, and current amplitudes. However, since these pulses involve extreme conditions and only provide mere nanoseconds of operation, they cannot be realized by simple printed circuit boards. Pulsed power must be harnessed by high voltage pulse generators, or Marx Generators, to deliver the necessary power for specific applications.

Harnessing Pulsed Power with High Voltage Pulse Generators (Marx Modulators)

For pulsed power to have practical applications, it must have a place to be stored until released. Marx modulators provide this storage and release capacity. These high voltage pulse generators store electrical energy similarly to a battery in banks of capacitors, though on a much greater scale. Marx modulators’ primary purpose is to generate a high-voltage pulse from a low-voltage supply.

Capacitors that are connected and parallel to one another receive charges similarly and are then discharged in series. The Marx modulator consists of the switches that control the parallel charging and series discharge. The stored voltage is multiplied by the number of stages in the generator circuit to determine the output voltage of the generator.

When the capacitors are supplied by a voltage source, they gain charge at the same rate until they are completely charged, without letting a current pass through. The capacitors are triggered by a high-speed switching action, causing stored energy to release simultaneously or in timed series, creating a voltage that is equivalent to the number of stages in the generator. By delaying the release of energy in consecutive stages, the shape of the output pulse can be matched to the desired load.

The effectiveness of Marx Generators gives them a broad appeal for pulse power applications.

Industry Uses for High Voltage Pulse Generators

While generators have been in use for commercial production for many years, steady technological advances have created systems with much greater output voltage, higher reliability, and more effective computer-controlled diagnostics and parameters. As a result, the range of uses for high voltage pulse generators and pulse modulation continues to increase across many industries and applications, including:

  • Low-pressure pseudospark
  • Electroporation
  • UV light protection
  • Dielectric barrier discharge
  • Atmospheric pressure plasma jets
  • Time of flight
  • Beam steering
  • Q-switches
  • Pockels cells
  • Microchannel plates
  • Acoustic transducers
  • Photomultiplier tubes & image intensifiers
  • Industrial plasma generation
  • X-ray generation for medical diagnostics and treatments

Stangenes’ innovative approach and dedicated team of experts continue to provide advancements for increasingly cutting-edge applications. Tomorrow’s needs fuel Stangenes’ commitment to research and development both now and in the future.

High Voltage Pulse Modulators from Stangenes

Stangenes continually strives to provide the very best in pulse power through our high voltage pulse modulators and has reached a milestone in researching and developing a parallel boost network that provides droop compensation for long pulse applications. This unit can produce a 3.2 kV/3.2 A pulse with greater than 1% stability while persisting for 3.6 ms. This allows for longer pulse lengths with the reliability and flexibility of solid-state switching modulators and is meant as an integration option for an existing 30-stage, 3.8 MW Marx-modulator.

Stangenes also offers three different modulator configurations and combinations, and all of our Marx modulators feature dynamically adjustable repetition rates, pulse widths, and pulse amplitudes. Our most versatile systems use a solid-state Marx design and can be used with or without a coupled pulse transformer. Our high-voltage pulse modulators provide precision control for the optimized application of pulse power.

Stangenes Industries, Inc. is proud to be registered with DQS Inc. as being in compliance with ISO 9001:2015 standards. This achievement demonstrates Stangenes Industries’ commitment to product and service quality as a leader in pulsed power systems.

Stangenes Industries Drives Innovation 

Pulse power harnessed through high voltage pulse generators is an efficient and effective way to provide powerful bursts of energy to benefit many critical applications. The future of Stangenes industries continues to be focused on creating new and innovative designs and developing pulsed power solutions to help solve our customers’ complex challenges.

Our customer base ranges from Fortune 500 firms to start-up companies and everyone in between, and our knowledgeable employees have years of experience to ensure reliable products. To find out how our dedicated team and state-of-the-art technologies can drive your project forward, contact us or request a quote today.