Kelvin Water Dropper Help

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by llyong1, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. llyong1

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 27, 2012
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    My team is currently building a Kelvin Water dropper for a college project. But a functional water dropper is only the first phase of the project. We also need to find a way to store the charges produced as useful energy, instead of just producing sparks. The kelvin water dropper produces high voltages in the kilovolts region but low current in the microamps region.
     
  2. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    You do understand that the 'water dropper' is generating "static electricity", correct?
    This, your experiment, is something that they have been trying to do since "current electricity" was discovered. Good luck doing it!
     
  3. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    The amount of energy you can store is tiny. What do you want the stored energy to do?
     
  4. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    I would imagine just placing a capacitor between the two capture devices (fancy way of saying buckets) would accumulate the charge, but at the cost of limiting the induced voltage.

    You may want to try occasionally switching in a cap to grab the current charge. One simple way would be to put the cap in series with a spark gap: when the voltage builds up enough to jump the gap the energy gos into the cap.

    Of course, with the high voltages present on the gap a limiting resistor would be necessary.

    I'm just spit ballin here, I've never done this. But it's a cool idea.
     
  5. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Kelvin's Thunderstorm "generators" often include leyden jars (a type of capacitor designed for static electricity) to store the charge until the potential is high enough to jump a significant gap. However, as mentioned before, this is static electricity, which for now, anyway, can't really be used for anything. It is different from "current electricity" with AC and DC, so anything that runs on AC or DC will not run directly from the capacitors.
     
  6. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    There is no such difference.

    I have a whole array of inexpensive radio controlled toy cars here where both the receiver electronics and motors run off capacitors.
     
  7. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    I meant that the static charge stored in the leyden jar would not work to power current electronics.
     
  8. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    I know what you mean and I am disagreeing with your contention. A leyden jar is a capacitor, and any capacitor can store energy according the the well known expression E = 1/2 * C * V^2. And that energy can be used to power other devices.

    The problem here is how to harvest energy from a high voltage and high impedance source and transfer some to a low voltage low impedance sink, or some capacitor, which then can be used to power some other sink.
     
  9. llyong1

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 27, 2012
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    Thanks for the reply~~ The objectives for our project is to find out someway to really store the energy and power some things for example a light bulb? Capacitor is one of the way but is it really can act as a battery?
     
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