Power inverter issues using a tesla coil

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by Bhope691, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. Bhope691

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 24, 2016
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    Hello,

    I have a home made Tesla coil which works fine when plugged into the mains outlet (220V AC). I have issues though when starting it through a power inverter.

    If I connect it to the inverter and have the two electrodes of the coil close enough that a spark is produced the inverter runs fine. If I move the electrodes away from each other so no spark is produced as there is too much of a gap for the voltage to produce a spark the inverter fails and shuts itself down. I need to unplug and re-connect everything (batteries to the inverter included) before the inverter will power back on again. Does anyone know why this is happening and how to fix it, is this something I can even run through an inverter?

    The tesla coil uses approx 10A at 220V through the mains outlet, with a startup surge of around 25A. I have bought a 5000W with surge protection up-to 10000W inverter, with an output of 220V using a 48V input, which should cover the power requirements. It is a Low Frequency Pure sine wave inverter. I am using x4 12V rechargeable lithium ion batteries with max discharge current of 90A connected in series. All connections are rated for 50A.

    Any thoughts would be very welcome.

    Thanks.
     
  2. tcmtech

    Distinguished Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Us knowing your method of driving the Tesla Coil would be of great help.

    Right now my speculation would be on excessive line noise, extremely poor power factor or a combination of the two.
     
  3. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    16,003
    6,093
    Without the load (spark), wouldn't the inverter see a reverse Emf from the coil?

    I'm wondering if a resistive load in parallel with the coil might help it get started.
     
  4. Bhope691

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 24, 2016
    18
    0
    Thanks for the replies.

    Last night I took a step back and created a very simple circuit which creates a spark using an ignition coil to see if it was either the inverter playing up or the circuit within the Tesla Coil. This setup is:

    A live wire from the mains plug goes to a variable voltage controller (a dimmer switch in this instance) to a capacitor (0.1uF) which then goes to the positive terminal of the ignition coil. The neutral wire goes straight to the negative terminal of the ignition coil then to a bolt to serve as the high voltage return for the high voltage secondary output. The middle terminal on the ignition coil is attached to a bolt which arcs to the negative primary.

    Again, when I connect it to the inverter and the two terminals are close enough for a spark it works fine. When I pull the terminals apart so there is not enough voltage through the gap to cause a spark the inverter fails.

    Tcmtech - how do you go about reducing excessive line noise and overcoming poor power factor.

    Wayneh - If the resistive load is parallel to the coil I assume this will be taking current from the battery?
     
  5. tcmtech

    Distinguished Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    I see. Now. You are using a phase angle switching system and capacitive discharge off of what is basically just a fancy PWM based modified sine wave power source and not really a true sine wave power source even though that's what they call it.

    I'm surprised you haven't blown your inverters output stage switching devices to bit yet from high voltage spiking.

    Why the high powered inverter to run what shod be a multiwatt CDI circuit and how are you possibly pushing 10+ amps @220 volts through an ignition coil with a light dimmer and .1 uf capacitor? o_O

    I've done it many times but I used a microwave oven transformer with a HV capacitor and spark gap discharge system to do it and ignition coil service life was pretty low at that.

    Schematics and far more explanation of the how and why is needed here!

    I also wouldn't call that a Tesla Coil either. It's just a inductive spark discharge unit. A Tesla coil is a tuned resonance air core system. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Bhope691

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 24, 2016
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    Can you actually get true sine wave inverters? If I did use a true sine wave inverter you think it would work?

    I have no idea regarding the amperage, I was using a current clamp to determine the output current when deciding what inverter to buy, maybe the current clamp reading was off, but using smaller inverters I manage to blow stuff etc. (is that due to the high voltage spiking?)

    No that wasn't the tesla coil it was a simple circuit I used to see if the same would happen and reduces where the problem may lie.

    What schematics would be helpful, and what further explanation?
     
  7. Bhope691

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 24, 2016
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    0
    My mistake it is a 10uF capacitor..
     
  8. tcmtech

    Distinguished Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    At this point I think you need to start at the begining.

    What are you trying to do/create and what is your present method of approach and why because nothing you have said adds up to anything I can make sense of so far other than it's a barely functional extremely poorly designed highly inefficient line powered capacitive discharge induction coil driver circuit.
     
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