Electrical Van de Graff Generator

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by ELECTRONERD, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. ELECTRONERD

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
    1,146
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    Greetings,

    I would like to build an electrostatic generator similar to that of a Van de Graff generator with a few modifications. First, I don't want it to be generated by a physical means like cloth rubbing against plastic. Instead I want to produce it electrically. What would be your recommendation on how to accomplish this? I suppose I could step the AC from a USA outlet for a transformer. I'd like to vary the voltage potential and have a low current output. You'll find something like it in the attachement. This project is more or less just used to "show" electrical lightning bolts.

    Suggestions are encouraged!
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    The transfer of charge on a belt is part of the definition of a Van de Graaf generator.

    Something for arcs and the like is the Tesla coil. Look at the link for a zillion circuits - http://www.discovercircuits.com/T/tesla.htm
     
  3. ELECTRONERD

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
    1,146
    16
    Thanks, I'll look into that. I've heard of Telsa Coils but forgot about them, sounds like the way to go.
     
  4. rjenkins

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 6, 2005
    1,015
    69
    The nearest pure electronic equivalent is probably a 'ladder rectifier' on a HV source such as a neon sign transformer, though you would still be pushing things to get anywhere near even a simple Van de Graaf machine.

    Hmmm.. 'Ladder rectifier' does not seem to be a popular term nowadays..
    There is an example in this document, page 74 (Fig 9):
    http://lss.fnal.gov/archive/2007/pub/fermilab-pub-07-203-esh.pdf

    Hopefully someone else will provide the popular name for this configuration.
     
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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  6. ELECTRONERD

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
    1,146
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    That's very interesting, I'll have to experiment with that a little.

    Yeah, that's definitely what I'm looking for! :D Mega-arcs are my kind of thing I'll have ya know! ;)

    Appreciate all the help everyone!
     
  7. Oxbo Rene

    Active Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    0
    Jacob's Lader = easy/impressive
     
  8. russ_hensel

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    818
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    Do the Van de Graff generator it is cool and generally safe.
     
  9. ELECTRONERD

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
    1,146
    16
    Yeah, I know of a friend who fired up one of those ladder type devices; pretty neat.

    As for a Van de Graff generator, I'm actually thinking I'll build a Tesla coil.

    With a Tesla coil, it will definitely be a fantastic display of arcing.

    Thanks for all the input, now I'll just have to make up my mind. ;)
     
  10. flodyn

    New Member

    Mar 9, 2011
    3
    0
    Maybe too late to post so I'll be brief. A Greinacher / Cockroft Walton voltage multiplier is a good alternative. It is an array of diodes and capacitors shaped like a Warren truss with the diodes as diagonals and the capacitors along the beams.
     
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