how safe is this high voltage thing for ur eyes

Thread Starter

-live wire-

Joined Dec 22, 2017
922
Ok so basically I got this high voltage generator thing off of Amazon. Its pretty powerful, as it consumes 20-30 watts and the output is loud and hot and melts things. It can span a gap of 10-20mm so I estimate its 30-60kv assuming 3kv per mm.

Basically the light isn't blindingly bright or anything but I'm concerned about the UV light which can be damaging to ur eyes.

I want to bring this into the stem club at my school. I talked with the physics teacher and he said it would be good to get an expert opinion on this, as he does not know if it is potentially hazardous or just as safe as a school tesla coil demonstration.

So how can I definitively know what eye protection, if any, is needed, and then prove that to my physics teacher?

This is the module https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07T3XDMH8/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_XEAG5CZ84PDX97Y074DM
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
6,339
it would be good to get an expert opinion on this
First and foremost - I am NOT an expert on this. But when I worked in a welding shop I know the arc flash can cause what's called "Arc-Eye". Basically it's a sunburn to the eyes. If you've ever watched welders weld they wear long sleeves and cover up as much flesh as possible. One guy didn't cover his chest adequately and got a sun-burn on his chest from welding. But then again, welding is a much more intense arc.

I've seen plasma balls with their electrical tentacles reaching toward the glass. When you put your hand to the glass you attract those tentacles. I'm sure they couldn't sell those if they were hazardous. But something capable of melting metal ? ? ? I have to wonder if it might be on the dangerous side.

One thing to keep in mind; if it could be dangerous someone will surely complain about it. Even if it's not but is perceived as being dangerous. So perhaps it might be wiser not to risk harming someone - OR having someone think you're going to kill everyone in the room. There ARE people who think in extremes. You might not want to be the catalyst that sets that off.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
27,893
I could find no info if the amount of UV light from a low current spark is dangerous to the eyes
The radiation from a high current arc, such as arc welding certainly does.
I suspect that the amount of UV radiation from your module is not enough to be harmful, as I have never heard of any precautions that need to be taken when working with such low-current sparks.

As a precaution you could place a piece of window glass between the spark and the observer, as that will block 50% of any UV-A and most of any UV-B and UV-C rays.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,836
You are right to be concerned about UV.

My son in-law is a precision welder and once used a filter that had a hairline scratch across it. Now he has a hairline blind spot across his field of view.

The threshold of this kind of damage is intensity x exposure time. With up to 30 watts in, I would not use this in a public demonstration unless I had a way of greatly attenuating the UV.
 

Thread Starter

-live wire-

Joined Dec 22, 2017
922
I could find no info if the amount of UV light from a low current spark is dangerous to the eyes
The radiation from a high current arc, such as arc welding certainly does.
I suspect that the amount of UV radiation from your module is not enough to be harmful, as I have never heard of any precautions that need to be taken when working with such low-current sparks.

As a precaution you could place a piece of window glass between the spark and the observer, as that will block 50% of any UV-A and most of any UV-B and UV-C rays.
Yeah I mean it also seems like the closer the contacts the brighter and the higher current the arc is. Idk for now I'll only use it where the voltage is high enough that the current is very low, and I'll avoid staring into it
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,464
two things to assure: Distance from the arc, and exposure time. Welding sparks have hundreds of watts for minutes at a time, that "high voltage device" can put out a watt or two. Also, stretch the arc out so it is not a bright point of light. Viewers should be far enough away because of the shock hazard as well.
 
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