.:: Capacitor Bank Optimization ::.
Capacitor Bank Optimization Using Genetic Algorithms
This program as per request from a friend of mine, arranges capacitors in the most optimal way based on the subtle difference of values in each capacitor.
SAM's RAILGUN PAGE where my software was used.
"10/11/02: T-8 and counting. 8 hours of work today; Despite very close manufacturing tolerances it is normal for electrolytic capacitors to have very large variations in capacitance due to the chemical nature of their dielectric. In order to avoid unequal current distribution which can be very harmful to the capacitors at the extremely high current levels my gun will be running it is desirable to have all the capacitor values as close to each other as possible. My solution for that was to divide the 32 capacitors into 8 banks of 4 parallel capacitors each. By doing that instead of wiring them all individually I can make the current distribution more equal and also make the pulse waveform more uniform. Still, there was the problem of how to arrange them all so that each sub bank of 4 would have the same capacitance of the other 8 sub banks. My friend and fellow scientist Slava Persion from SVBx Labs came up with a very clever Genetic Algorithm program that finds the solution in less than a couple of seconds. If every combination were to be tried blindly it would take 5.5 * 10^22 years to find the solution (on a P4, 1.9GHz).. After a few seconds the program was able to arrange all 32 capacitors in such a fashion that each sub bank only varies 0.02% from the average of 6176.5uF. With the optimum configuration in hand I disassembled the entire capacitor bank, cleaned out the capacitor box and every single capacitor individually, drilled and installed the 24K gold plated high voltage connectors on the side of the box, and re-assembled the capacitor bank. I also disassembled the entire Rail Gun, but didn't get around to working on it because I had a party to go to." -SAM BARROS