What is Marx Generator?


Marx Generator

A Marx Generator is an extremely dangerous High-Voltage pulsed power voltage multiplier device.

Marx generators can produce high voltage pulses using multiple, identical stages that operate at a fraction of the total output voltage without the need for a step-up transformer that limits the pulse rise times and lowers the efficiency of the system.

high voltage capacitors in parallel such as with a several high voltage source and discharge them in series. When use high voltage capacitors and spark gap, the resulting sparks are quite impressive. The Marx Generator needs no expensive diodes and only uses one capacitor per stage. This reduces their cost immensely, at the expense of the mechanical complexity of the spark gaps.


The Marx generator consists of an array of resistors, capacitors and spark gaps.

marx generator

The capacitors are charged up in parallel through the resistors, so they each become charged to the input voltage. When spark take place in all gaps, the capacitors get effectively connected in series, therefore multiplying the input voltage by the number of capacitors and causing a long spark at the end of the Marx generator.

These charging resisters RS is subjected to more than the charging voltages, But in the practice the value is small. None of the charging capacitors even when the capacitors have been put up. The charge available is limited to the charge of the capacitors. So the output is a brief pulse as the capacitor discharge though the load. If spark gap is not conducting then the output voltages will be increasing.

So, the total circuit depends on the connected capacitor ratings and the timing will be discharged.

Applications of the Marx Generator

  • Box Switching Operation
  • provide high-voltage pulses for the testing of insulation of electrical apparatus.
  • Applied Voltages may exceed 2 million volts for high-voltage apparatus.