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Old 09-27-2010, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm with Jack on this one.

Sure general-purpose caps in your voltage range are easy to find, but you would need to get caps with enormous ripple-current capability, which would be prohibitively expensive. 5A of ripple for one capacitor is a lot, so if you are talking 200+ amps, that's 40+ capacitors at several bucks a pop. Ripple current isn't something they talk about much, but you can find more about that in caps rated for SMPS duty.

An inductor will smooth out the current nicely, it tries to limit the change in current. This means if you pulled away from the material with the arc still going, the inductor would provide a higher and higher voltage, in an effort to maintain that arc. This could make a long arc if you have a lot of inductance (which you will probably need), and if that's not an issue, get the inductor. Caps won't have that characteristic.

By the way, what crazy diodes are you using? I have some 120A units I thought were huge, yours must be enormous! *jealous* hehe
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