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High-voltage electrostatic power supply and meters

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by dbooksta, May 10, 2013.

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  1. dbooksta


    May 10, 2013
    I want to do some hobby work on electrostatic precipitation. My understanding is that I'll need a DC power source capable of generating something like 5-50kV. What are good, cheap options for that, running either off household 120VAC or else 12VDC batteries?

    And what are inexpensive means of measuring voltage in that range? I'm presently only equipped for household electric work, so my multimeters don't go that high!
  2. GreenGiant


    Feb 9, 2012
    for the supply itself youre going to spend easily 2-500 bucks on a cheap one.

    as for the meter if you get an attenuating one like this your meter should work fine, for this if you touch 40kV your meter would read 40V
  3. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    Fly zappers use a very high voltage, I do not know how high.

    Colour CRT TVs use a high DC voltage, maybe 20kV? You may be able to use a TV line output transformer.

    A Cockcroft-Walton multiplier can generate a very high DC voltage from a high voltage AC signal.

    Voltage dividers can be used to measure the voltage or use a spark gap.

    I hope that you have had considerable high voltage experience, you will make only one mistake.
  4. dbooksta


    May 10, 2013
    Thanks, the attenuating probe looks like a good solution.

    Now if I want to measure static voltage (as opposed to a supply voltage) won't that ground it out and take the charge to zero? Is there some other means of measuring static voltage without draining it?

    I don't think I need a bench-grade power supply. I just want some means to put a high voltage on various test conductors. Doesn't have to be precise or fast.

    (E.g., I had contemplated pulling one of the ignition coils on my car, connecting it to an isolated conductor, and cranking it to charge it up. But that's pushing the bounds of kludginess even for me ;)
  5. dbooksta


    May 10, 2013
    I do want to keep amperage low so that I don't have to be as concerned with lethal discharge paths.

    Those are good ideas for improvised power sources, although I think at least bug zappers don't rectify the voltage, and I need fixed polarity to charge up the static conductor.

    I'm new to hobby electronics; are there good sources for buying a plug-in CW generator?
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