High Voltage

High Voltage Sign
Jacob's Ladder
High Voltage Terminal

I recall in my younger days becoming intrigued with how a high voltage output was produced, with the use of a coil of wire.

My first real introduction into high voltages was with ignition coils. My very first project was mounting an ignition coil on a base of wood, wired in a set of "points" (an actual set as used in a distributor), and a battery.

Each time the points were switched, an arc was produced from the coil. At the time, I had no idea of transistor switched circuits.

My real high-voltage work started with my interests and work with lasers.

Lichtenberg Figures

I have recently been experimenting with the process, with more work on effects of voltage adjustments through the process to control the burning process as well as experimentation with different wood types.

Lichtenberg Figure
Lichtenberg Figure

Insulator Collection
High Voltage Insulator

In the recent few years, I have started to build a small collection of insulators, typically of the glass variety, however at times I may come across some high voltage insulators which make for excellent lamp bases. The insulator pictured, was pulled when upgrades to the high-voltage power lines was being completed for the new hospital precinct.

High Voltage Power Supply

In March 2021, I commenced a project on a home-built TEA Nitrogen laser , as part of the project required a high-voltage power supply, I set about building a supply which later would prove very handy for powering my Geissler Tube collection.

The design of the power supply is based around a small commercial driver board that drives an AC flyback transformer.

The driver module itself features a circuit that was originally developed by Vladimiro Mozilli for driving flyback transformers and now common place as basis for induction heating.

The drivers are more commonly known as Zero Volt Switching ("ZVS") drivers and are capable of efficiently driving flyback transformers at high power levels.

An AC flyback transformer is implemented as it allows for the use of an external custom multiplier to generate upto 30,000V DC. The output of the multiplier is current limited using x3 parallel 20M Ohm resistors (6.66M Ohm).

The output measurement of the output is displayed on a 50uA FSD analogue meter. A 1.0GOhm resistor together with a diode are wired in series with the meter.

The revision 1 of the supply featured a DC output, however soon after, an additional connector added for AC output (which is tapped directly off the flyback HT output.

 HVPS Test Setup

Test Setup

Multiplier Board

Multiplier Board

Completed Supply (Rev.1)

Completed Supply (Rev.1)

Completed Supply (Rev.2)

Completed Supply (Rev.2)

Front Panel

Front Panel

- Flavio Spedalieri -
Written: 23 November 2020
Updated: 1st August 2021

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