The Marx generator circuit first described by Erwin Marx in 1924 and is a voltage multiplier. The principle of acting is to charge a number of capacitors in parallel and discharge in series with the use of spark gaps. Marx generator is used for testing high voltage devices (transformers, insulators) for lightning emulation, for X-Ray generation and some other uses.
The charging voltage is applied to the input. The stage capacitors (C) charge through the charging resistors (R). When capacitors are charge up, the first spark gap (SG) is going to breakdown from overvoltage. This connects the first two capacitors in series, overvolting the next spark gap, which then connects the first three capacitors in series, which overvolting the next gap, and so forth. This process is referred to as erecting. The erecting voltage pulse appears in the output and is approximately equal to the input voltage times number of stages.
Materials used for the construction:
Various tests performed using input voltages from 8 to 18KV. Results was as calculated. Maximum spark lentgh was 8.5 ~ 9cm this equals peak voltage 75~80 KV. Total discharge energy is E=0.5*C*V2 in this case C equals to the six capacitor stages in series 1000pF divided by 6 (number of stages). C=1000pF/6=166pF, V=80kV, Energy=530 mJ.
Even if the suggested HV power supply is capable of less than 1 mA the capacitors can store enough charge. The author take no responsibility for injuries, electrical shock and damage to electronic devices that can occur during experimentation with these devices.