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Thread: Help with capacitors/ power supply

  1. #1 Help with capacitors/ power supply 
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    Hello,

    I am trying to build a mass accelerator with a single stage coil as a proof of concept. However, I have several large capacitors that I need charged to 300 volts (dc). Right now my power supply is a large bank of 20+ 9volt batteries (*shudder*) but I am looking for a low cost and simple solution.


    Thanks

    P.S.: I have NO previous experience in electronics


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spontaneous scholar View Post
    I am trying to build a mass accelerator with a single stage coil as a proof of concept. However, I have several large capacitors that I need charged to 300 volts (dc). Right now my power supply is a large bank of 20+ 9volt batteries (*shudder*) but I am looking for a low cost and simple solution.

    P.S.: I have NO previous experience in electronics
    In general if you have no previous experience in electronics you shouldn't be working with high DC voltages.

    You will eventually end up with a flyback boost converter; that's what most people use for such applications. (And what is used in most camera flashes.)


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  4. #3  
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    Thank you for replying billvon,

    I am actually already working on a solution using camera circuits as a dc to dc boost source (safer due to at least relatively low amperage). However, my circuits are inefficient and a hassle to insulate and connect. I was hoping you could describe a way to use a transformer to easily boost a 24-volt or 220-volt ac source via a transformer and rectify it. Would that be feasible (and at least somewhat "safe")?

    Thanks,

    the spontaneous scholar
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spontaneous scholar View Post
    Hello,

    I am trying to build a mass accelerator with a single stage coil as a proof of concept. However, I have several large capacitors that I need charged to 300 volts (dc). Right now my power supply is a large bank of 20+ 9volt batteries (*shudder*) but I am looking for a low cost and simple solution.
    SAFETY FIRST:
    -risk of personal injury:
    high energy discharge in form of electric current can cause a conductor, its dimensions subject to improper calculations, to evaporate
    inhaling copper vapors damages the lungs, the damage cannot be reversed by medical treatment, have a potential to kill or shorten lifespan
    mass accelerated by means of an electromagnetic field, can cause injuries, their severity subject to the energy densities involved

    mitigating risk:replace urge driven by :"what happens if I...." with observating from a safe distance:
    take notice of the size of the "discharge switch", the produced vapors,...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb8T-TqvNVE
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spontaneous scholar View Post
    Thank you for replying billvon,

    I am actually already working on a solution using camera circuits as a dc to dc boost source (safer due to at least relatively low amperage). However, my circuits are inefficient and a hassle to insulate and connect. I was hoping you could describe a way to use a transformer to easily boost a 24-volt or 220-volt ac source via a transformer and rectify it. Would that be feasible (and at least somewhat "safe")?

    Thanks,

    the spontaneous scholar
    if you still feel the urge to grow the scientist in you, proceed as follows:
    Disclaimer:writer of post does not take responsebility for caused dammage (personal injury/loss of property)
    you should think of it as an imaginairy beast that tries to hurt/causes dammage, preventing you from reaching your goal. NEVER EVER think you are smarter than "that beast", as you become smarter in preventing injuries/dammage,achieving goals, so becomes "the beast". At best you can come at equal terms.

    since you are the safety engineer, development engineer, project manager and scientist, YOU need to provide for the effort required to reach the goal

    1. Plan the project, work the plan:
    because while you building the components, your creative mind might overcome challenges by taking a shortcut (observe the stones in the youtube film)
    2. Divide the project up in subprojects so you build in waypoints to asses the quality (you are the quality engineer)
    3. Learn from mistakes from others (it's cheap, it's rewarding), since a basic science requirement is: an experiment must be repeatable, your mass accelerator must be engineered accordingly.
    4. since you are on a budget, over engineering loses monney, under engineering destroys the mass accelarator
    project plan suggestion:

    a)accelerator coil
    b)connecting wires
    c)discharge switch
    d)capacitor bank
    e)charging circuitry

    material required:some car battery cable (from car junkyard), copper plate,insulating plate (plywood),screws,glue, bolts and nuts

    observe the over engineering/under engineering in the youtube link in previous post and adjust in your design

    good design:
    the capacitorbank
    key elements:
    -a coppersheet to connect one side of the capacitors,an insulating plate in between, a coppersheet to connect the other side of the capacitors (alternavely 5mm aluminium plate for the conductors)
    -provisions on those sheets/plates to connect the wires of a voltmeter firmly
    -make your design so that you can build up the energy density (start with one capacitor, do test,asses heat build up in components,mount 2nd capacitor, do test,...)
    ideal condition:access to a beam thermometer (so you dont burn your finger or electrocute yourself)
    poor man thermometer: make your finger wet (prevent blister from happening), MAKE SURE CAPACITORBANK IS FULLY DISCHARGED
    the capacitors should be of proper type (have adequate cross section on terminals or connecting wires to discharge in short time)
    capacitors recovered from TL light fixtures are no good
    capacitors might have a polarity (check for + or - indicator on them) and if so make sure you connect them accordingly or they will explode
    -provide for clamping plates for the battery cable, make sure your design doesn't short the conductor plates with the bolts/nuts for the clamping plates
    make sure the whole construction is rigid

    bad design:
    the demonstration in the youtube link uses different size of wires (twice destruction of accelerator coil)
    better use battery cable: 1 piece to connect from capacitor bank,make coil and then connect to switching contact, 2nd piece of battery cable from other switching contact to capacitor bank
    because a current in a cable produces a force, the coil needs to have a rigid support (plywood/glue/screws construction)
    designing the discharge switch:
    the youtube example demonstrates some over engineering: a pneumatic actuator, to much copper for the switching contacts, to big a gap between the contacts
    and some flaw: a knife shaped contact area
    design criteria:
    -5mm gap is more than adequate
    -the required travel for the switch contact should be a smooth lineair, rigid displacement
    -the actuator bit can be done by a spring (force should be at least 10 kg for a 5mm displacement) and a rope operated latch mechanism (so you can operate from a safe distance)
    -the contacts itselve should be made from copper, have clamping devices for the battery cables, a switch contact surface of at least 10x the cross section of the battery cable and a 5mm thickness
    -when the switch is finally assembled (without the spring in place) serious effort should be made to sand the contacts (glue some sand paper on both sides of a piece of thin plywood and carefully sand beween the contacts so when the switch is operated, the contacts land dead flat
    all cable clamp plates can be made from 5mm thick copper as well (4x m8 bolts & nuts suffices)
    -provision should be made to clamp the mass accelerater to a table (so you can pull the rope to activate the switch)

    -if you can demonstrate proper design,engineering and building skills (post some pictures of your mass accellerator in this thread) I'll provide you with an as simple and cheap as possible solution for the charging circuitry (make provision for a 10x20 cm free area away from the switch to build the charge circuitry)
    -if you're more of a "leakage repair man/women applying chewing gum" or a duct tape wizzard then good luck on your journey's
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