# Question about generating high voltage with series transformers

#### -live wire-

Joined Dec 22, 2017
912
First of all, I would like to state that I am asking this purely for hypothetical knowledge, not because I plan to make my own high voltage generator. There are plenty of complicated circuits for generating really high voltage from relatively low voltage out there (in the 100kV+ range).

However, why would one not just place a ton of transformers in series and pulse it on and off at a high frequency with triacs to multiply the voltage many times and also get some decent inductive spiking? It seems like this would allow you to get almost infinitely high voltages.

However, I have not seen many circuits designed like that, even though it is simple and should be effective. So are there a lot of real-life problems one might encounter when doing this, or is there some hypothetical limit till the current gets so low that you do not effectively multiply the voltage?

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,722
Part of the problem with generating very high voltage is keeping the voltage high instead of having a short circuited smoking mess. A important factor is keeping the voltages between voltage generating components (including internal parts and wiring) below the electrical breakdown voltage of the insulation between them. Sure we can make specialized oil insulated transformers that can each handle the 100kV+ range (like in X-ray machines) but usually they are usually not cheap or very compact circuits. They are also extremely dangerous even with proper systems.

As you see, it will reach out and touch you in a bad way.

#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
The first problem is that the power is limited by the first transformer and power is lost in each successive transformer, just as voltage up = current less, but with a penalty.
The second problem is the voltage breakdown limits of the windings. You end up separating the transformers from each other to avoid arcs.
Well...nsaspook just beat me to that one.

#### crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
25,631
The first problem is that the power is limited by the first transformer and power is lost in each successive transformer, just as voltage up = current less
I don't see that.
The current will be the same if you have identical transformers in series.

#### -live wire-

Joined Dec 22, 2017
912
What if you surrounded everything in teflon for good insulation? It just seems like the highest manmade voltage of ~25MV is pretty pathetic.

#### crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
25,631
What if you surrounded everything in teflon for good insulation? It just seems like the highest manmade voltage of ~25MV is pretty pathetic.
You also have to have insulation rated for that voltage between the transformer primary and secondary, so it's not as simple as you think.

#### recklessrog

Joined May 23, 2013
985
Part of the problem with generating very high voltage is keeping the voltage high instead of having a short circuited smoking mess. A important factor is keeping the voltages between voltage generating components (including internal parts and wiring) below the electrical breakdown voltage of the insulation between them. Sure we can make specialized oil insulated transformers that can each handle the 100kV+ range (like in X-ray machines) but usually they are usually not cheap or very compact circuits. They are also extremely dangerous even with proper systems.

As you see, it will reach out and touch you in a bad way.
What a dick head!!! I wonder if he is still alive. That is precisely the way NOT to play around with such lethal voltage. We had to use supplies of over 500,000 Volts at incredible current capacity for artificial ball lightning production, and would have been fired on the spot for being so reckless. (despite my forum name) The trouble with doing things like that are "you may get away with it until the ONE time you don't". In the U.K.( where that guy in video lives Judging by the wall outlet sockets) the cost of a fatality and subsequent enquiry can exceed £300,000 pounds of public funds that should be better spent on better deserving causes. I don't apologise for ranting on, It is CRASS STUPIDITY at the highest level.

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#### #12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,210
I don't see that.
The current will be the same if you have identical transformers in series.
Yeah...umm...I was thinking about 2 different ways to wire transformers and didn't make it at all clear...
but I got my TV antenna rebuilt today!

#### crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
25,631
but I got my TV antenna rebuilt today!
Well that certainly deserves an "Attaboy".
But unfortunately it usually takes about a 100 attaboys to cancel one awshit.

#### ebp

Joined Feb 8, 2018
2,332

HV seems to attract the same sort as those who believe in ... shall we say "greater than oneness"? (I actually vaguely knew someone who built a generator that he was convinced was that way. He found some fool interested in investing.)

#12 I'm relieved to hear you were working on your TV antenna (live in the boonies do you?) I was sort of picturing you heading up there carrying a case that I hoped contained your new fretless banjo or violin.

#### -live wire-

Joined Dec 22, 2017
912
I am probably completely wrong about this, but I heard that lightning could easily reach billions of volts. And looking at the video, he does seem to do some really stupid stuff. Here is a good video I found on the topic.

#### kubeek

Joined Sep 20, 2005
5,733
What a dick head!!! I wonder if he is still alive. ...
Have you seen Photonicinduction on youtube? A lot more of similar crazy stuff, but done with a lot more care about safety.

#### recklessrog

Joined May 23, 2013
985
I shudder at what is posted on youtube, People playing with old microwave oven transformers and the like.
The thing to remember is ...."You only die once"

#### RichardO

Joined May 4, 2013
2,271
... but I got my TV antenna rebuilt today!
To keep this (somewhat) on topic...

Did you properly ground it to protect against high voltage lightning? If so, how?