# Lightweight air core transformer?

#### Hypatia's Protege

Joined Mar 1, 2015
3,226
I would have to see what is the power output to see if it would work for the lifters.
FWIW, as applied to certain areas of 'Nuclear Medicine', higher currents (and, hence, power levels) are achieved via effective placement of multiple (integral) sub-generators in parallel -- à la Wimshurst 'compounds'

Best regards
HP

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#### Robert Clark

Joined Aug 6, 2016
35
Note: Inasmuch as there seems to be some difficulty with the other thread? - And for 'convenience sake' this is a copy of my latest reply to said location:
Correct -- In practice the original primary/Aux windings (on the lower form leg) are removed and replaced with (typically) 10 to 20 turns each side of a 'center tap point'.
For your information/edification here's an example of a typical 'high power' driver circuit -- NOTE: post continued below image...
View attachment 110570
First, I'm a math guy. After my forays into experimentalism in science classes in high school and university, I realize it's not my strong point. I would collaborate with others doing the electrical experiments and measurements.

The Mazilli and Royer circuits are other ways of converting DC to AC, correct? A common way of doing this is to use a 555 oscillator chip. The M. and R. methods instead use two transistors. Also, if I read correctly the internet descriptions of the M. method it actually needs the transformer to work. So I couldn't use it for the voltage multiplier scenario that doesn't use a transformer.

Since any of these DC-AC converters would be a single circuit going to a transformer, weight considerations probably wouldn't be important. It might be a consideration for the voltage multiplier scenario where at each step I have to convert DC to AC to iterate the voltage doubling repeatedly.

So the part of the circuit before the transformer in your schematic is a DC-AC converter, but what is the purpose of the part of the circuit after the transformer?

In regards to the converted transformer you posted in the voltage multiplier thread, you have confirmed experimentally that it can manage 600 watts, outputting tens of thousands of volts at a weight less than 300 grams, and it can work at least for several minutes without burning out? If you have, then you may have provided the means to prove, for the first time, that the ionocraft can indeed fly independently and can serve as an entirely new method of air transport.
Completely silent, with no moving parts, completely emission free, capable of both hovering and forward light. In short, the proverbial "flying car".

Bob Clark

#### shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
9,322
You are correct; that is the key reason why they have not been a practical means of propulsion. The power supplies needed to provide the voltage at tens of thousands of volts are too heavy for the lifters to raise. Do a google image search on "lifters", "power supply", "high voltage". You'll see the lifters are very light weight devices at a few grams, but the power supplies are large and heavy in the range of kilograms.

But actually the batteries needed to supply the power at light weight already exist. It's that last step to convert to the high voltage needed that is the problem.

Bob Clark
I hate to be a downer to your idea, but have you built a scale model of one to measure the lifting power and then used that to scale up to what you want to do? I'd be very surprised that with the technology in place today that one could be made to lift just the batteries let alone the power conversion circuit. The time spent trying might be better spent looking for Bullwinkle's Upsidaisium mine.

#### cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,627
I hate to be a downer to your idea, but have you built a scale model of one to measure the lifting power and then used that to scale up to what you want to do? I'd be very surprised that with the technology in place today that one could be made to lift just the batteries let alone the power conversion circuit. The time spent trying might be better spent looking for Bullwinkle's Upsidaisium mine.
What you need is to get yourself one of these, and problem solved!:

#### Robert Clark

Joined Aug 6, 2016
35
I hate to be a downer to your idea, but have you built a scale model of one to measure the lifting power and then used that to scale up to what you want to do? I'd be very surprised that with the technology in place today that one could be made to lift just the batteries let alone the power conversion circuit. The time spent trying might be better spent looking for Bullwinkle's Upsidaisium mine.
In regards to what has been done, I'm relying on other experimenters.
The specs of the lifters built by one lab are here:

http://www.blazelabs.com/l-perf.asp

You see the best thrust to power they could manage was about 1 gram thrust per watt of power. For instance the basic triangular Super Cell V1.0 lifter listed there got .15N thrust, about 15 gram-force, using 14 watts of input power.

Bob Clark

#### cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,627
In regards to what has been done, I'm relying on other experimenters.
The specs of the lifters built by one lab are here:

http://www.blazelabs.com/l-perf.asp

You see the best thrust to power they could manage was about 1 gram thrust per watt of power. For instance the basic triangular Super Cell V1.0 lifter listed there got .15N thrust, about 15 gram-force, using 14 watts of input power.

Bob Clark
Something's a bit fishy with that website... this section raised a red flag in my BDK.

@nsaspook, what do you think?

#### Hypatia's Protege

Joined Mar 1, 2015
3,226
By way of clarification the Mazzilli oscillator is a variant of the (resonant) Royer oscillator -- As an aside: Inasmuch ZVS operation is not inherently 'enforced' by said circuits, I prefer to eschew said 'moniker' -- But to continue

A common way of doing this is to use a 555 oscillator chip. The M. and R. methods instead use two transistors.
The principal advantages of resonant power oscillators lies in their inherent 'auto-matching' behaviour and (corollary) very high efficiency -- Said characteristic being essential under dynamic loading.
Merely driving a switch/amplifier with a fixed-frequency/duty cycle source (e.g. an astable 555 timer) is inapplicable to any but very low power, fixed load applications. Efficient operation requires a self-matching driver - two common topologies of which being the current mode PWM controlled system and the resonant Royer (including the Mazzilli circuit).

M. method it actually needs the transformer to work.
In point of fact both the Mazzilli and Royer circuits include a magnetic transformer as an integral component...

So I couldn't use it for the voltage multiplier scenario that doesn't use a transformer.
Correct - however cascades are inefficient, lossy nasty pieces of work - and I hate them!, I hate them!! I hate them!!![/kicking and pounding] --- But seriously - cascades are simply inapplicable to EHT systems operating above 'flea' power levels! Trust me - Re: your proposed application - you neither need nor want cascades!

Since any of these DC-AC converters would be a single circuit going to a transformer,
So the part of the circuit before the transformer in your schematic is a DC-AC converter
So the part of the circuit before the transformer in your schematic is a DC-AC converter
Actually, there's no 'AC' prior to the transformer -- The transformer does NOT follow the oscillator - it's part of the oscillator! (Note: For these purposes you may regard 'oscillator' and 'DC to AC converter' as synonymous).

what is the purpose of the part of the circuit after the transformer?
The referenced circuit (formed by D1,D2,C3,C4) constitutes a Delon rectifier - its function is two-fold:

1) To rectify and filter the oscillator's output.
2) To 'move' the DC output level to the oscillator's peak to peak output level (e.g. under ideal conditions 25kV peak in yields 50kV DC out -- hence its common, IMO dubious, description as a 'full-wave doubler').

In regards to the converted transformer you posted in the voltage multiplier thread, you have confirmed experimentally that it can manage 600 watts, outputting tens of thousands of volts at a weight less than 300 grams, and it can work at least for several minutes without burning out?
I have operated them (each transformer) at 500 watts (50kV at 10mA) continuously (i.e. for over 7 hours) in open air (temp stabilized at 80°C after 20 minutes) --- and at 1.5kW (70kV @ 22mA) for ≈ 15 minutes in a high-velocity forced air stream (although I 'got away' with the latter - I don't advise it!) --- Based upon protracted and varied experience in this area, I am confident that you may operate the described device at 600W continuously in open air

you may have provided the means to prove, for the first time, that the ionocraft can indeed fly independently and can serve as an entirely new method of air transport.
Perhaps I have offered a means to that end - I'd like to think so! -- Tho I daresay you'll be the one to prove it -- I'll leave scraping with the ozone and nitrogen oxide activists fanatics to you! (Never mind the fact that such a device would be far cleaner than current technology -- the enviro-yobs won't be happy until our species returns to the cave - and then it'd be something else) -- Ahhh! Silent aircraft! now that's a pleasant thought! It might even mean @Aleph(0) could publicly wear her jaunty captain's uniform again

Very best regards and good luck!!! --- please keep us posted!
HP

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#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
9,444
Something's a bit fishy with that website... this section raised a red flag in my BDK.

@nsaspook, what do you think?
The examples of directed EM/ISL waves are correct and obviously you don't need photons for classical EM as we can build optical nantennas to collect light frequency EM energy today with microelectronic fabrication technologies similar to what plants have been doing for billions of years. Life is too short for the rest of the websites no quantum mechanics nonsense because if it were true modern electronics would be magic instead of applied science and engineering.
http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2015/06/23/where-do-electric-forces-come-from/
http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2015/08/20/qft/

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#### Aleph(0)

Joined Mar 14, 2015
597
Ahhh! Silent aircraft! now that's a pleasant thought! It might even mean @Aleph(0) could publicly wear her jaunty captain's uniform again
HP ur too funny Anyhow they didn't care abt noise as long as I got them there on time which is SO big of them since cabin level noise is non-issue anyhow!

@Robert Clark returning back to topic, I say a good idea if you go into manufacturing ion craft is to use Al wound transformers cuz at the impedances involved (which means voltage in tens or hundreds of kv or more and current less than one amp) increased winding resistance is no problem and it can save a lot of weight! You can also save weight by insulating transformer and all HV parts with dielectric gas confined in thin plastic barrier instead of oil in tank or solid insulation! BTW love yr Mobius cylinder avatar!

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#### Aleph(0)

Joined Mar 14, 2015
597
cascades are inefficient, lossy nasty pieces of work - and I hate them!, I hate them!! I hate them!!!
Chill HP! It's not as if a waiter gave you a dirty fork!

#### Hypatia's Protege

Joined Mar 1, 2015
3,226

#### Robert Clark

Joined Aug 6, 2016
35
By way of clarification the Mazzilli oscillator is a variant of the (resonant) Royer oscillator -- As an aside: Inasmuch ZVS operation is not inherently 'enforced' by said circuits, I prefer to eschew said 'moniker' -- But to continue
The principal advantages of resonant power oscillators lies in their inherent 'auto-matching' behaviour and (corollary) very high efficiency -- Said characteristic being essential under dynamic loading.
Merely driving a switch/amplifier with a fixed-frequency/duty cycle source (e.g. an astable 555 timer) is inapplicable to any but very low power, fixed load applications. Efficient operation requires a self-matching driver - two common topologies of which being the current mode PWM controlled system and the resonant Royer (including the Mazzilli circuit).
In point of fact both the Mazzilli and Royer circuits include a magnetic transformer as an integral component...
Correct - however cascades are inefficient, lossy nasty pieces of work - and I hate them!, I hate them!! I hate them!!![/kicking and pounding] --- But seriously - cascades are simply inapplicable to EHT systems operating above 'flea' power levels! Trust me - Re: your proposed application - you neither need nor want cascades!
Actually, there's no 'AC' prior to the transformer -- The transformer does NOT follow the oscillator - it's part of the oscillator! (Note: For these purposes you may regard 'oscillator' and 'DC to AC converter' as synonymous).
The referenced circuit (formed by D1,D2,C3,C4) constitutes a Delon rectifier - its function is two-fold:
1) To rectify and filter the oscillator's output.
2) To 'move' the DC output level to the oscillator's peak to peak output level (e.g. under ideal conditions 25kV peak in yields 50kV DC out -- hence its common, IMO dubious, description as a 'full-wave doubler').
I have operated them (each transformer) at 500 watts (50kV at 10mA) continuously (i.e. for over 7 hours) in open air (temp stabilized at 80°C after 20 minutes) --- and at 1.5kW (70kV @ 22mA) for ≈ 15 minutes in a high-velocity forced air stream (although I 'got away' with the latter - I don't advise it!) --- Based upon protracted and varied experience in this area, I am confident that you may operate the described device at 600W continuously in open air
Thanks for that. And the weight after removing the unnecessary components is less than 300 grams?

Bpb Clark

#### Robert Clark

Joined Aug 6, 2016
35
HP ur too funny Anyhow they didn't care abt noise as long as I got them there on time which is SO big of them since cabin level noise is non-issue anyhow!
@Robert Clark returning back to topic, I say a good idea if you go into manufacturing ion craft is to use Al wound transformers cuz at the impedances involved (which means voltage in tens or hundreds of kv or more and current less than one amp) increased winding resistance is no problem and it can save a lot of weight! You can also save weight by insulating transformer and all HV parts with dielectric gas confined in thin plastic barrier instead of oil in tank or solid insulation! BTW love yr Mobius cylinder avatar!
Thanks. Anyone who appreciates the Mobius strip automatically gets high marks from me!

Bob Clark

#### Hypatia's Protege

Joined Mar 1, 2015
3,226
Thanks for that. And the weight after removing the unnecessary components is less than 300 grams?

Bpb Clark
Correct, my heaviest transformer of the type in question weighed 280 Gm following removal of the mounting frame

Best regards
HP

#### ronsoy2

Joined Sep 25, 2013
71
While it would be difficult to get the required 40kv from a lightweight power supply, the weight of the battery required would be the clincher to a self contained lifter being a dead end fail. You will find that the power required as you make the thruster larger goes up nonlinearly so even though you are getting more thrust you need even more power and thus an even heavier battery. This system has been exhaustively investigated to death so best to stick with propellers! A modern day quadcopter drone is self contained and can lift to spectacular heights!

#### Hypatia's Protege

Joined Mar 1, 2015
3,226
the weight of the battery required would be the clincher to a self contained lifter being a dead end fail. You will find that the power required as you make the thruster larger goes up nonlinearly so even though you are getting more thrust you need even more power and thus an even heavier battery.
That's my feeling as well -- That said, recent advances in 'fuel-cell' technology seems to hold some promise in this regard -- Alternatively, energy 'out-sourcing' may be worthy of investigation, (e.g. energy 'beamed' via ground-based maser/laser 'stations').

best to stick with propellers! A modern day quadcopter drone is self contained and can lift to spectacular heights!
Yebut, if you'll pardon the trite reference, at one time animal drawn carts were more practical than power machinery -- and for the selfsame reason (To wit: insufficient power:mass ratio...) -- Granting that the 'problem' with ioncraft is, perhaps, more analogous to 'traction' than to power - I think (hope) I've made my point?

FWIW -- Casual perusal of history seems to suggest the following chronology as regards emerging technologies:
1) Not possible.
2) Theoretically possible.
3) Possible but impractical.
4) 'Workable' albeit not-competitive with prevailing technology.
5) Transition.
6) Mainstream!

FWIW I place the current status of self-contained 'ion reaction craft' just shy of 3 above

Best regards
HP

PS
Puleeze! Don't anyone suggest on-board photovoltaic generation (from incident sunlight)! Said technology being incapable of "carrying it's own weight" in every respect of the phrase!

#### cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,627
PS
Puleeze! Don't anyone suggest on-board photovoltaic generation (from incident sunlight)! Said technology being incapable of "carrying it's own weight" in every respect of the phrase!
HP why not use on-board photovo... .... oops .... never mind ...

#### Robert Clark

Joined Aug 6, 2016
35
...
I have operated them (each transformer) at 500 watts (50kV at 10mA) continuously (i.e. for over 7 hours) in open air (temp stabilized at 80°C after 20 minutes) --- and at 1.5kW (70kV @ 22mA) for ≈ 15 minutes in a high-velocity forced air stream (although I 'got away' with the latter - I don't advise it!) --- Based upon protracted and varied experience in this area, I am confident that you may operate the described device at 600W continuously in open air
...
Thanks for that. I might need that higher power level. I think I can probably reduce the weight of the lifters by using thinner corona wires and collector plates. But I need to prove that. As it is now, if I were to duplicate the designs available now, then I might need better than 2W/gm power-to-weight ratio for the transformer in order to improve battery run time.

See the examples here:

http://www.blazelabs.com/l-perf.asp

We want to emulate a design that gives high thrust to power ratio, but we also have to take into account the size of the payload compared to the size of the lifter, because that's where the weight of the batteries, transformer, electronics, etc., have to go.

I'll base the design on the simple triangular lifter listed on that page. Here's a more detailed description:

Super V1.0 cell - 15/04/03.

Side length = 30 cm
Total element length = 900 mm
Total weight = 5 g
Total external payload = 9 g
Total thrust = 14 g force
Supply voltage= 54 kV
Supply power = 14 W

http://blazelabs.com/l-c-superv1.asp

To give simpler numbers I'll round off these values to 5 g lifter weight, 10 g payload, 15 g total thrust, 15 W supply power. Then we'll need 40 copies of this for a 600 W power supply. The triangular lifter is 30 cm, 1 foot on a side. Then 40 of them would cover an area about 16 square feet, or a square 4 feet on each side. We may need though to give some space between them so we don't have interaction between the ionized corona fields of adjacent triangles.

For 40 copies, the payload is 400 g. Your transformer weighs 280 g. That leaves 120 g for the batteries and other electronics. This corresponds to at least a 600 W to 120 g power-to-weight ratio for the batteries or 5 to 1. The batteries for RC airplanes and helicopters can exceed this to even a 10 to 1 ratio and higher, but this shortens the battery run time before being drained to only a couple of minutes. So we might want to operate your transformer at the higher power level to get longer battery run time.

BTW, what about smaller versions of your high power density transformer? For amateurs duplicating this experiment it would be easier with smaller lifters running at, say, a few tens of watts.

Bob Clark

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#### Hypatia's Protege

Joined Mar 1, 2015
3,226
BTW, what about smaller versions of your high power density transformer? For amateurs duplicating this experiment it would be easier with smaller lifters running at, say, a few tens of watts.

The bad news is that the power:mass ratio is directly (albeit non-linearly) proportional to winding/core cross-section -- Hence development of 'dry runs' (i.e. scaled down units) is 'challenging' to say the least
The good news, however, is that larger transformers exhibit even more favorable ratios!

As a point of interest: Pictured below is 75kV 250 mA secondary (one of two identical secondary windings for a 150kV, 40kW 'mains' operated radiography transformer).
Dimensions = 9" (od) by 4.5" (girth) -- (Pictured also are a rebuilt LOPT (right) and a US \$20 note for perspective).

Experience has shown that, although intended for line-frequency operation on a laminated iron core, such windings operate quite well at a mean free-running frequency of 35khz centered about a 1" Dia. ferrite core -- and with (winding+core) power:mass ratios approaching 8W per gram (within spec) and in excess of 10W per Gram (intermittently, under conditions of significant abuse). -- The 'catch', however, being the requirement of 'potting'... Although, as @Aleph(0) points out, adequate electrical insulation is achievable via potting of the assembly in certain dielectric gasses (most notably SF6) at atmospheric pressure (thus obviating the requirement of a heavy tank, etc), unfortunately such compounds are less than ideal thermal transfer mediums -- Still... I suspect there's a 'way'

Hoping you find this useful (or at least interesting)

Very best regards
HP

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#### Robert Clark

Joined Aug 6, 2016
35
Thanks for that. I have a few questions: if it's only the turns ratio that determines how much will be the voltage increase, why don't people just make the turns on the primary just be 1? This would save weight and cost on the copper wire. Reducing the turns on the primary worked for your transformer to get it to the kilovolt range.

About the potting is this to prevent sparking across wires for high voltage in the closely wound wires? In that case, it's important to keep in mind it's the weight that is the key issue for the lifters, not volume. For my 600 W lifter at 16 square feet, we could spread the transformer over that entire area to increase the distance between the wires. This would also help for cooling the transformer in that the entire lifter area would go to cooling.
Also, another interesting feature about the lifters is that the ionization of the air becomes even more effective at elevated temperatures so the heated air could improve the thrust. On the other hand air heated too much would allow sparking which diminishes thrust.

BTW, since you are a fan of Alexander Pope, here's another Pope poem for you:

March 21
Epitaph on Sir Isaac Newton
By Alexander Pope (1688–1744)
(Died March 21, 1727)
NATURE and Nature’s Laws lay hid in Night:
God said, “Let Newton be!” and all was light.

http://www.bartleby.com/297/154.html

Bob Clark

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