Challenges in Measurement of Low-Value ESL and ESR of High-Performance PFN Capacitors for Klystron Modulator


M. Acharya
J. K. Mulchandani
Prem Baboo
T. Reghu
Ravindra K. Sharma
Y. Wanmode
Vivek Sanadhya
V. Kurariya
M. Lad
Anuradha Mayya
P. Shrivastava


In the high voltage line type pulse modulators, Pulse Forming Network (PFN) capacitors are one of the important components. These capacitors operate at peak kilo ampere current range and at repetition rate in the range of a few hundred hertz. The performance of these capacitors is critical w.r.t. overall system performance, and they are required to operate at high power density and low losses with high reliability. The Equivalent Series Inductance (ESL) and Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) are two critical parameters that affect the performance of these capacitors. PFN modulator demands a capacitor of very low ESL and ESR for reliable operation and generation of high-voltage pulses. Higher ESR value adversely affects the performance of the capacitor by raising its temperature and thus deteriorating its life. ESL value does not directly affect life, but it affects the quality of high voltage pulse. In RRCAT, the PFN capacitors purchased from Indian manufacturers were showing high-temperature rise and failures. Therefore, new capacitors were designed to have lower ESL and ESR values. Measurement of ESL and ESR is important to evaluate the performance of the capacitors. The low value of these parameters makes their measurement a challenging task and requires special techniques. For low values of ESL and ESR (less than 100 mΩ) measurement, a differential measurement technique was used in which modification and different layouts were explored to improve the repetitive accuracy of the measurements. The differential ESR and ESL measurement techniques with more emphasis on the low-value ESR measurement will be discussed in the paper.


How to Cite
Acharya, M. ., Mulchandani, J. K. ., Baboo, P. ., Reghu, T. ., Sharma, R. K. ., Wanmode, Y. ., Sanadhya, V. ., Kurariya, V. ., Lad, M. ., Mayya, A. ., & Shrivastava, P. . (2024). Challenges in Measurement of Low-Value ESL and ESR of High-Performance PFN Capacitors for Klystron Modulator. Power Research - A Journal of CPRI, 19(2), 117–121.


  1. Nunnally WC. Differential measurement of fast energy discharge capacitor. Inductance, and Resistance; 1975.
  2. Sharma RK, Sharma A. Development and experimental study of oil-free capacitor module for plasma focus device. Rev Sci Instrum. 2017; 88(3):033502. 5468/aa58ad
  3. Sharma RK, Gurav MA, Chavan SG. Failure mode analysis of oil-free pulse capacitors. 2013 IEEE 1st International Conference on Condition Assessment Techniques in Electrical Systems (CATCON), Kolkata, India; 2013. p. 154-62. CATCON.2013.6737490.
  4. Reghu T, Mandloi V, Shrivastava P. A solid-state converter topology, -100 kV, 20 A, 1.6 ms, Modulator for high average power klystron amplifier. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. 2018; 99:1-8.
  5. Acharya M, Shrivastava P. A 100 kV, 20 A, 1 ms long pulse solid-state Marx modulator for klystron. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment. 2018; 905:96-103.
  6. Acharya M, Shrivastava P. Design and development of a prototype 25 kV, 10 A long pulse Marx modulator for high power klystron. Rev Sci Instrum. 2016; 87(2):025114.